Health at work – 4 points of attention

No pains, good condition, plenty of energy. You might say: who doesn’t like to be healthy? Yet it seems to be in our nature to

Yet it seems to be in our nature to make
to make unhealthy choices.
As an HRM it is therefore
it’s quite a challenge to promote healthy working.
Especially since you’re not in charge of your employees’ leisure time.
How do you go about it?
Four topics to keep in mind.


Four themes that contribute to healthier work

1. Get enough exercise

Do you have many employees who work sitting down, at the office or behind the wheel? Then adequate exercise is perhaps the most important thing aandachtpoint. It is said that sitting is the new smoking. And with good reason, because various studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and some forms of cancer. As an HRM you can do a lot about this. BFor instance by A bicycle plan, whereby employees can purchase a bicycle more cheaply via the employer. That they use the stairs instead of the elevator. That employees walking consultation. And that during lunch they go out for a walk. Sit-stand desks are also a solution. And give employees tips on simple exercises at the desk.

According to the new exercise guidelines of the Health Council of the Netherlands, adults should get at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity exercise per week. exercise. Muscle and bone strengthening activities are also recommended.

Download ‘Summary of the 2017 Movement Guidelines’ (Health Council of the Netherlands)

Download ‘Long periods of sitting: a new threat to our health’ from TNO

2. Eat healthy

You can influence healthy eating by paying attention to what you sell in the company canteen. Research by health scientist Liesbeth Velema A study carried out by the VU University shows that company canteens can be designed in such a way that employees are encouraged to eat more healthily. In cooperation with the Dutch Catering Association (Veneca) and some caterers richtte ze restaurants healthier in. For three months tested they various strategies to make healthy choices easier, without taking away unhealthy options. Her research shows, for example that if more low-fat cheese or wholemeal bread is displayed, more of it will be sold. It also seems to help if healthier products are more prominent in the itinerary. So: first the healthy salads and only at the end the fried snacks.

Read more about this study on the website of the VU

The Voedingscentrum (Nutrition Centre) has drawn up the Healthy Canteens guideline. With this you can go to work by yourself. You can bet on a bronze, silver, gold or ideal canteen.

Go to the website The Healthy Canteen

3. Relax in time

A little stress keeps us sharp and makes us perform better. Too much long-term stress is unhealthy. Of course we know that. Nevertheless, the proportion of employees suffering from stress complaints and burn-out has increased in recent years. In fact, work-related stress is the main cause of absenteeism and failure. It is therefore very important to pay attention to this as an HRM. Address the causes of stress. Make sure employees have good support for problems at home. BegeTake good care of employees with stress-related complaints and ensure their reintegration. Ensure a pleasant working environment with plenty of plants, good ventilation and use of colour in the interior. And encourage employees to relax on time, at work and at home.

The Working Conditions Act stipulates that every employer in the Netherlands is obliged to pay attention to psychosocial workload (PSA). This is to reduce and combat absenteeism due to stress at work. In concrete terms, an organisation must pay attention in its prevention policy to: discrimination, aggression and violence, bullying and work pressure.

See the full text of the Working Conditions Act on the government website

Would you like to know more about the most important figures concerning work-related stress?

Download the fact sheet workstress (TNO)

4. Get enough sleep

Of course, as an HRM you have no influence on what people do at home. Do they exercise enough in their leisure time, or do they prefer to crawl in front of the TV or behind the game computer at home? Do they eat healthy at home or do they opt for pizza, chips and pancakes? Of course, people are in charge of that. But in the right setting, it’s okay to talk about that. The beste you do it in one-on-one situations and in a casual setting. Sleeping habits are also an important issue.

If you are structurally too If you don’t sleep enough, you won’t recover physically or psychologically. This leads, for example, to poorer concentration, irritability, gloom and – in the longer term – to physical complaints. On average, adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day to be well rested. at are. The exact need for sleep differs from person to person. For example, 8% of adults have enough at less than 6 hours of sleep, while 2% of adults need more than 10 hours of sleep.


as an HRM

the right environment

As an HRM you can do a lot to Ensure that employees make the right choices. Take a fresh look at the physical environment and working conditions. Talk to employees, because they themselves often know best what could be improved. And find the solution close at hand. In other words, it need not involve major, expensive changes. Small changes can have a big effect. Actively involve employees in implementing the changes. Because that creates support. And that’s when the adjustment is most likely to be a success.

Read more about sustainable personnel policy

gealth is an important aand a point for attention in a sustainable personnel policy. Would you like to know how you can contribute to the continuity of your organisation with the sustainable deployment of (older) employees? You can read it in our free e-book ‘Wise with grey’.

Are there older employees in your organization who will be retiring soon? Or are you curious what else Essenburgh can do for you? Then take a look at our retirement in sight training.

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dr. Pim Valentijn

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