Quick start

Need a few ideas on where to start to become a healthy organisation? Here are a few ways to achieve some quick wins.

Many of these are aimed at making small changes that can have long-term impacts – both on the health of your people and your business.

Be a responsible host

If you do serve alcohol at work events, be a responsible host. Limit the amount of alcohol available, offer tasty non-alcoholic alternatives, make sure there’s plenty of food and organise transport home.

Also, keep a close eye on younger workers or people who you know or suspect have issues around alcohol. See Serving Alcohol SAFELY at Workplace Events.

Go smokefree

Giving up cigarettes is the best thing anyone can do for their health (and having fewer workers taking 10 minutes here and there to smoke is better for productivity). Make your whole workplace smokefree, including company vehicles and outdoor areas, and promote quit smoking services to workers.

For support check out this guide, which takes you through a basic to comprehensive policy matrix.

Sit less, move more

As our lives and many of our workplaces become more mechanised, more and more of us sit down to work, commute, eat and socialise. It’s very easy to sit too much and this "sitting culture" puts us at risk of poor health.

If most people in your workplace sit, encourage them to have standing meetings, to walk to talk to each other rather than emailing, take the stairs not the lift, and to walk to off-site meetings rather than taxi. Even just standing up can have a positive impact on our health. See our Sit Less resources, including the Stair Challenge.

Most of us could also benefit from being more active, so also encourage lunchtime walking groups. Your team can enjoy fresh air and exercise that invigorates them for the afternoon’s workload, as they create valuable social connections. If your workplace is on public transport routes, encourage staff to use it – the few extra steps they take to the bus stop could be a substantial addition to their health.

Choose healthy fuel

Food is a significant part of any culture and it often plays a large part in workplace culture, too. Work morning and afternoon teas, celebrations, lunches, vending machines and snackboxes, all create a culture around how a workplace views food.

Adopt healthy catering guidelines – these can apply to an on-site café or canteen, vending machines, and food the workplace provides at meetings and events. See the Ministry of Health's healthy food policy for organisations for guidance, or download this flyer about healthy food and physical activity for your people. 

Fight the flu

Who can afford to have a couple of weeks off work? Consider providing the flu vaccine free or subsidised for your team. See how you can fight flu in the workplace on the fightflu.co.nz website.

Be SunSmart

Make it easy for all staff to be SunSmart. Have sunscreen on hand for when they’re heading outdoors to take a break for lunch or go for a walk. Add the Sun Protection Alert to your intranet, and encourage staff to check it before going out. If you have outside break areas, make sure there’s shade.

If you have outdoor workers, advise them to wear wide-brim hats and long-sleeved shirts - or even provide these for them – and rotate tasks so people don’t have to stay outside all day. See our SunSmart resources, or the SunSmart website

Reward with the gift of wellbeing

If you want to reward staff, how about giving them the gift of wellbeing? There are plenty of options – opt for a healthy recipe book, a voucher for a physical activity or sports equipment for a competition won or a job well done. It might be the start of a new healthy habit or pastime.

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