Encouraging employee health and well-being

As an employer, having an efficient and productive workforce is the ideal scenario. But you also want a happy, positive, and healthy team. The latter ensures the former and promotes an uplifting and constructive place to work. When staff are able to take control of their own health and well-being, this is something that an employer should encourage. Not only for the emotional state of the workforce but for the financial state of the business too.

In 2021, an estimated 149.3 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in the UK. With this comes a huge loss, financially for businesses across the country. 

But how can we encourage employees to want to improve and take care of their own health and well-being? As employers, we have the ability to provide support, facilitate, and encourage change for the better. 


How employers can encourage good employee health and wellbeing




A popular and very common option for those wanting to improve their physical and mental health. For some, exercise is a must for their mental health. As it gives people their alone time and allows them to push themselves and clear their heads. Whereas for others, exercise is about socialising, getting together with friends, having a good time, and a laugh. But for others exercise is about physical fitness. Whether the goal is to build strength, improve endurance, improve flexibility and balance or lose weight. Whatever your goal, exercise is a great way to improve your health and fitness.  


Various forms of exercise: 

  • Running 
  • Swimming 
  • Zumba or other dance fitness classes 
  • Racket sports 
  • Football, netball, or other team sports 
  • Biking 
  • Weight training 
  • Yoga and Pilates 


Whilst as an employer, you cannot make your employees attend these classes. You can promote it and incentivise it. Gym memberships or vouchers can provide encouragement for your team to attend classes and exercise. Alternatively, setting up a running club, or budding up with another person can help to encourage exercising as most people find motivation the most difficult part. 


Benefits of Exercise 


Exercise can reduce a person’s risk of major illnesses. Including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Plus, exercise can in fact lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. 

Exercise can also reduce stress levels, improve sleep, and in turn overall productivity. Whereas more balance and breathing-based exercises can help circulation, strength, posture, focus, and flexibility. 




What we eat and drink has a big impact on our health and fitness levels. Depending on the height and weight of a person, our bodies require a certain number of calories every day in order to maintain the same weight. If we have more calories than we need, then we are more likely to gain weight. Whereas if we have fewer calories than we need, then we are more likely to lose weight. 

However, this is the case when we don’t take into consideration the amount of exercise we burn throughout the day. For example, 2 people of the same weight and height would require a different amount of calories if one worked a very physical job and if the other worked a sedentary job at a desk. So your daily intake should take into account how active you are throughout the day. 

Providing more healthy snacks for your employees can encourage better choices. This can be something simple as providing fruit and vegetables in the staff room or canteen, as opposed to biscuits or chocolates.




But diet is not limited to only what people eat at work. More often than not, when people work full time, especially physically demanding jobs, cooking healthy meals once you have finished work can prove difficult for many. Providing a booklet of health and quick recipes that employees can take home could inspire and motivate people to create them at home. Or encourage staff to share their own healthy recipes. 

In addition to providing recipes, it’s a great idea to facilitate healthy eating in the workplace. Food storage, a fridge, freezer, cutlery, crockery, and cooking facilities all create an environment where employees can bring in their own food from home & prepare this at work. This can help to encourage employees to stay away from fast food and quick pick-up lunch options. 


How we can help 


At Acorn we provide on-site training for our clients. Our experts can visit your business and help to raise awareness on fitness, diet, and exercise. This can all be tailored to your employee’s fitness levels, lifestyle, and job demands. 


Contact us


If you’d like more information on helping your employees to take care of their health and well-being, please get in touch with our team. Visit our FAQs page, call us at 01260 277797, or email us at website@acornoh.co.uk

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.