Well-being Initiatives to Promote Employee Weight Loss

Being overweight or obese is a serious health concern that can lead to a variety of complications, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer. Recent research provides that nearly 30 per cent of the UK adult population is obese, emphasising the need to take action.

As an employer, you can help reduce the risks of obesity among your employees by fostering a well-being programme that offers weight-loss initiatives. Proper weight management is achievable by eating a balanced, nutritious diet and getting regular exercise. Consider the following suggestions to ensure your workforce maintains a healthy weight.

Nutrition

  • Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
  • Provide healthy eating reminders and prompts to employees using email, posters, payroll stuffers, etc.
  • Offer fruits and vegetables in vending machines and in the cafeteria.
  • Provide cookbooks and cooking classes for employees’ families.
  • Ensure on-site cafeterias follow healthy cooking practices.
  • Offer healthy foods at meetings, conferences and catered events.
  • Provide taste-testing opportunities at the workplace.
  • Offer employee-led campaigns, demonstrations or programmes.
  • Offer locally grown fruits and vegetables at the workplace (this could be a workplace farmers market or a community-supported agriculture drop-off point).
  • Price non-nutritious foods in vending machines and cafeterias at higher prices.
  • Provide a space away from the work area for breaks and lunch.
  • Make kitchen equipment available to employees.
  • Provide an opportunity for on-site gardening, if possible.
  • Beverage Consumption
  • Make water available during the day.
  • Offer healthy drink options, such as juice and tea, in vending machines and the cafeteria.
  • Modify workplace vending contracts to increase the number of healthy options.
  • Price non-nutritious beverages at a higher cost.
  • Portion Control
  • Label foods to show serving size and/or nutritional content.
  • Provide food models, food scales for weighing and pictures to help employees assess portion size.
  • Offer appropriate portion sizes at meetings, workplace events and in the cafeteria.
  • TV & Food Advertising
  • Place TVs in non-eating areas of the workplace.
  • Limit advertising (eg print and other media) for unhealthy food.

Physical Activity and Weight Management

  • Allow access to on- and off-site gyms and recreational activities before, during and after work hours.
  • Encourage and support participation in after-work recreation leagues.
  • Provide cash incentives or reduced insurance costs for participation in physical activity and/or weight management or maintenance activities.
  • Provide shower and/or changing facilities at the workplace.
  • Provide outdoor exercise areas, such as fields and trails, for employee use.
  • Provide bicycle racks in safe, convenient and accessible locations.
  • Offer on-site fitness opportunities, such as group classes or personal training.
  • Provide an on-site exercise facility.
  • Set up programmes that have strong social support systems and incentives:
  • Team physical activity goals.
  • Programmes that involve workers and family.
  • Explore discounted or subsidised memberships at local health clubs or recreation centres.
  • Set up programmes to encourage physical activity, such as pedometer walking challenges.
  • Offer flexible work hours and breaks to allow for physical activity during the day.
  • Host walk-and-talk meetings.
  • Map out onsite trails or nearby walking routes and destinations.
  • Have employees map out their own biking or walking route to and from work.
  • Post motivational signs at lifts and escalators to encourage stair usage.
  • Provide exercise/physical fitness messages and information to employees.
  • Provide or support physical activity events on-site or in the community.
  • Start employee activity clubs, such as walking or bicycling clubs.
  • Sponsor a “bike to work” day and reward employees who participate.
  • Set up a suggestion box for fitness and health tips.