In 2016, the Wellness Council of America named Lance Breger as one of the Top 50 Health Promotion Professionals in the U.S..
Today, Lance shares his recommendations for how a business leader can create a culture that supports workplace employee wellness.
Question: What are two to three things a leader can do to create a culture of wellness at their workplace?
Lance: Living by example is the single very greatest thing a leader can do to create a culture of wellness. Be the change you want to see in the workplace. Even the small wellness efforts are noticed like bringing a water bottle to meetings, making good food choices, leaving the office on-time, unplugging on weekends, using a standing desk and taking the stairs.
Question: What else can a leader do to demonstrate he/she values wellness for their employees?
Lance: A leader can name health and well-being as a core value of the company, department and even team. This can be positively reinforced through a staff-wide communication, senior staff meeting as well as creation of a wellness committee. But, I can't put enough importance on the power of a leader's participation with their staff in wellness activities and events.
Question: What team activities can employees do at work to promote wellness?
Lance: My company's core four:
- Activity classes - on-site yoga, meditation, boot camp
- Challenges - pedometer, sleep, water, daily stretching, fruits and vegetable consumption
- Workshops/Webinars - healthy snacking, desk stretches, meditation, stress management techniques
- Group Health Coaching - all-staff meeting for creating individual health plan
- Smoothie making in the cafe/lunch room
- Healthy Potluck Lunches
- Top Chef Competitions: healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe
- Charity Run and Walks (as individuals or as a team)
- Quarterly Outdoor Outing (hiking, biking, kayaking, indoor rock climbing)
- Team-building Ropes Course
- Field Day with a variety of fitness stations
- 10 minute Recess every Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Lance: The average American sits for 13.5 hours per day; that is over 50% of their day! A standing desk can go a long way to improve the number of hours sitting, which can impact their health and productivity.
I feel this is the optimal working position progression:
- office chair to stability ball to standing desk
Some benefits of and standing desk are:
- More calories are burned in a standing position
- Core and leg muscles are more active throughout the day
- Circulation is better through the pumping action from leg muscles
- Greater emphasis on being mindful of one's posture
- Heightened sense of alertness and wakefulness
- Less posture-related pain changes in spine and muscle lengths from sitting
Lance: Here is one. A stretching exercise you can do sitting in your desk chair:
Lance Breger is an Executive Wellness Coach and the Founder of InfinityWellness Partners, a comprehensive corporate wellness company that prepares executives and organizations for the most productive and healthy work-life.
As an 18-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, Lance has led online/on-site training programs for thousands of professionals based on his four pillars of wellness: fitness, nutrition, mind/body and ergonomics.