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When Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL, the sports community was sadden that he would miss the rest of the playoffs.

Rose is one of the best in the NBA, but he’s also a team player, and losing him impacts the entire team from top to bottom. So much so, that the Chicago Bulls were unable to get out of the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Some blamed the shorten NBA season for all of Rose’s injuries. Too many games packed in such little time didn’t give much room for him to truly adjust and recover, proving the idea that “no pain, no gain” is probably outdated.
Athletes need both their body and mind functioning to perform at the highest level, and when one goes down due to health issues, the entire team suffers. It’s not that much different in the corporate environment.

When you’re the leader or manager at your company, establishing a healthy workplace might not be first on the agenda among deadlines, product launches, and new marketing initiatives. However, no matter what kind of work needs to be accomplished, leaders and managers must make sure the company has a vested interest in the health of its employees.

After all, research finds that employees with healthy behaviors take fewer sick days, incur lower health care expenses, and are generally more productive.

Unfortunately, it seems more workers are feeling stressed by the day.

According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), two-thirds of both men and women say work has a significant impact on their stress level, and one in four has called in sick or taken a “mental health day” as a result of work stress.

Still, despite ongoing business challenges and employment, the APA also stated some employers have seized the opportunity to create a healthy culture where employees and the organization can thrive.

These employers reported an average turnover rate of just 11 percent in 2011 – significantly less than the national average of 36 percent as estimated by the U.S. Department of Labor. Surveys completed by the organizations show that only 24 percent of employees reported experiencing chronic work stress compared to 41 percent nationally.

In addition, 78 percent of employees said they would recommend their organization to others as a good place to work compared to 63 percent.

Clearly a healthy work environment goes a long way in boosting employee morale.

Here are some steps you and your company can take to incorporate a bit of health into the workday.

Offer health programs

Work with HR to establish efforts to help employees develop a healthy lifestyle, such as stress management, weight loss, and smoking cessation programs. Maybe your company can help pay for a portion of your team’s gym memberships.

If implementing health programs at work is too costly for your company, consider starting a company kickball or softball team. For one, it allows workers to be active, and two those types of sports can help with team building.

Serve healthy snacks 

While our minds might love cake, chips, and soda, our bodies are not so in love with those indulges. While we’re not recommending for your company to completely eliminate treats at work, just be sure to also offer various fruits, vegetables, and other healthy snacks.

Encourage breaks/give half days

In order to get everyone to be more productive, frequent breaks are a must. Listen, it would nice if we could all work like machines and produce perfect material day after day. But that will never be reality. You should encourage your staff to take breaks, and even offer an incentive of half-day Fridays. You’ll be surprised how time off can help your staff become much more effective.

There’s not a clear-cut answer in establishing a healthy workplace, but small steps can make a difference. After all, you don’t want anyone in your team to be overwhelmed, stressed, or suffer a torn ACL.