How to Improve Employee Well Being at Work

Posted on December 9, 2016 by Jenna Ahlschlager, ACE-CHC

Updated June 5, 2020

There are benefits to encouraging employees to adopt a healthy lifestyle, both in and outside of work.

Woman makes a choice between bad food and healthy eating

In addition to health benefits, others include decreased healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism, increased job performance and job satisfaction, as well as employee retention. While there are a variety of ways to promote healthy living outside the workplace, there are only a select number of things to do in the workplace, and it starts with making smarter choices at work.

Make meetings and celebrations healthy events.

Give employees the option to make healthy choices. When you bring or order food for an event, provide healthy options for employees to choose from. Fruit and vegetable trays are great examples because they offer a variety of nutritious selections. Make staying on track simple, especially for those trying to manage their weight.

Control portion sizes

Serving sizes have changed significantly in the past few decades; nearly doubling in size. This means we are consuming extra, unnecessary calories. Make sure to pay attention to what a single serving is and when serving foods such as bagels or breakfast pastries, cut them in halves or quarters. Another suggestion, use smaller serving plates. The smaller the plate, the less room there is for extra food. Bigger is not always better!


Potlucks can be a great opportunity for employees to share healthy recipes with each other. Try encouraging healthy choices by setting a theme for the potluck, such as a salad bar or choosing healthy versions of original recipes to make.

Environmental Challenges: Vending Machines and Candy Jars

The work place should encourage healthy habits. When unhealthy foods are easily accessible for employees, it creates the mindset that it is okay to eat junk food while at work. Fifteen percent of workers don’t take a lunch break, relying on vending machines to get them through the day. Therefore, request healthy choices in the vending machine (most vending machine companies can accommodate), replace donuts in the breakroom with yogurt and almonds and get rid of the candy jars. Eating candy mindlessly throughout the day can add on an extra 5-12 pounds per year!

Looking for more tips on how to stay healthy at work? Check out the article "8 Tips to Stay Healthy at Work" on our website.

We Can Help

Our extensive network of consultants can help you accomplish your goals. Contact VITAL WorkLife at 800.383.1908 or through the VITAL WorkLife App to a speak to our peer coaches, counselors and mentors. 

For more information about our comprehensive suite of well being solutions, call 800.383.1908.


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