Having a healthy workforce can benefit a business in so many ways. Healthy employees tend to be happier and more engaged. More importantly, having healthy employees means fewer hours paid in sick leave and better productivity overall.

While some business owners are aware of the importance of keeping their employees healthy, a lot of them don’t know how they can encourage their employees to adopt healthy habits. While you can’t monitor what your employees do 24/7, there are plenty of things that you can do to help them make healthier life choices whether they are on your premises or not. Here are a few of them.

Offer Health Food Benefits

One of the best things you can do if you want your employees to make healthier decisions is to offer them vouchers for healthy food. Services like Incomm allow you to allocate Medicare food benefit funds on healthy foods, and these can be used to help some of your employees who may be food insecure get access to food that will make them and their families healthier. This will not only reduce the number of sick days employees take every year but could also help boost employee retention, as very few employers offer this kind of benefit.

Have Healthy Snacks Around

If you allow your employees to eat while they work, try to give them access to as many healthy options as you can. Choose the type of food you put into your vending machine wisely and favor options that will give them a steady stream of energy. This means replacing sugary drinks with smoothies, low-sugar fruit, and vegetable-based drinks, and adding things like whole bread sandwiches, bars, and cookies. Having a table with fresh fruit or a few fruit bowls around the office could also encourage some of your less healthy employees to try them and show them how delicious they can be,

Encourage Physical Activity

You should also do everything you can to encourage your employees to be more active before, during, and after shifts. You could start the day with some dancing, yoga, and stretching, for instance. Look if you could make additions to rec rooms that will push people to be more active too, like ping pong tables or arcade basketball nets.

Another thing you should consider doing is adding a few standing desks and allowing your employees to use them whenever they feel like it. You should also review the current furniture you have, and consider getting new furniture if it's not the most ergonomic.

Give your Employees more Break Time

Giving your employees a few minutes more during lunch can also help them stay healthier. If they have a spot where they can get some shut-eye, being able to get a quick nap during lunch will help them come back more refreshed and can greatly reduce stress levels. You could also encourage your employees to go take a walk or run errands during their break so they can break a little bit of sweat.

These are all tips that will help you maintain a healthier workforce without forcing health consciousness down their throats. Start with small steps, and don't be afraid to ask for ideas from your managers and some of your core employees.