Sudbury wellness expert offers tips on creating a workplace 'culture of health'
October is national Healthy Workplace Month
Stress is a normal work experience, but a health and wellness expert says chronic or excessive stress is problematic.
Lisa Lounsbury is the president and founder of New Day Wellness, a Sudbury-based agency that provides health and wellness needs to companies and organizations across northern Ontario.
"There are workplaces that are very keen on creating a culture of health," she said.
"On the flip side, I've worked for and have actually seen environments where talking to each other is not encouraged, laughing isn't encouraged and taking breaks is not encouraged. So that automatically creates a culture of unhealthy."
Lounsbury says any meaningful changes to workplaces needs to start with the leadership.
"Leaders have to be completely engaged and completely committed to rolling out whatever aspects of a healthy workplace that they can do," she said.
"So if they want to initiate change, have higher productivity, healthier employees, higher engagement it starts with them, and as soon as they're on board then it just trickles down to the rest of the staff."
Lounsbury says if an employer wants productive staff members they need to incorporate health and wellness into the workplace.
"It can happen physically, mentally emotionally, and when they start allowing staff to acknowledge that they're stressed and being accountable for it then we can start to put things into practice," she said.
"So we give them breaks and make sure that they're being educated on certain things and all these pieces of a healthy workplace can come into place."
Lounsbury says there are many benefits to having good morale in the workplace.
"You're more productive when you're happy," she said. "And if you create a happy, calming workplace, your employees will be more productive. They will be more committed to you. They won't feel like they need to leave that workplace and find another job if they're happy where they are."
Lounsbury adds individuals can also control their own work environment by eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting proper sleep and taking breaks during the workday.
October is national Healthy Workplace Month.
With files from Angela Gemmill