Creating an employee wellness program is not an easy feat. It often involves changing employee behavior, which in itself is challenging. Employers are beginning to see benefits from creating a well-designed break room that encourages employees to make healthy choices during their breaks while incorporating activities that support the company’s wellness efforts. Creating a break room doesn’t have to be expensive or challenging, especially if you follow these simple guidelines.
This blog post explores all aspects you should consider while creating the perfect break room for your employees.
What is a Healthy Break Room?
A healthy break room is an inspiring space where employees can take a break from their desks and make healthy eating decisions. It is where they can get acquainted with new healthy habits and further energize their workday.
A healthy break room is not just another open room with a table and chair – it’s a space intentionally designed to encourage healthy habits. The break room helps incorporate multiple elements that meet a variety of needs.
Simple Strategies for a Healthier Break Room
Start with healthy food & beverages – If your company has a break room, you will likely have a refrigerator and a coffee machine. These are great places to begin building a healthier space by stocking healthy options.
Micro markets assist in turning your break room into a social hub – One of the reasons employees return to the office is to interact with coworkers face-to-face. A micro market offers a welcoming environment in which individuals may spend their lunch breaks while connecting with coworkers.
Simplify your menus – Create a menu that is easy for employees to navigate. If your break room has a rotating menu, try incorporating healthy food and beverages. This will help employees make healthier choices when they are hungry.
Offer a variety of healthy foods – Don’t just stock your break room with apples and granola bars. Be sure that you offer a variety of healthy foods such as fresh strawberries, grapes, yogurt, nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers, and cheese, among other items that you know will be popular.
Create a healthy snack board – Another great way to make healthy foods more accessible to employees is to create a healthy snack board. You can get creative and place items on the board that make it easy to grab and go.
Stream music – To create a soothing atmosphere in your break area, stream music. Classical, soft rock, or modern music could be acceptable depending on the atmosphere of your workplace. As long as it’s not too loud or intrusive, music makes for excellent background noise and always fills awkward quietness. It may also enhance your mood, making you super-productive!
Good-For-You Foods & Snacks
Granola and Cereal – Granola and cereal are good breakfast options but do not have them in your break room throughout the day. Keep these foods out for a couple of hours in the morning, then remove them.
Nuts and Seeds – These are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and vitamins. They make for a great afternoon snack and can be eaten alone or sprinkled on salads and yogurt.
Fruit – Very few people in the world don’t enjoy fresh, delicious fruit. Stock your break room with a variety of seasonal fruit that can be quickly eaten on the go.
Yogurt – Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and B vitamins. It is a great way to start your morning – you may add granola or nuts to it. You can even add fresh fruit to your yogurt for an afternoon snack.
Cheese – Cheese makes for a great afternoon snack and can be eaten alone or added to a healthy salad. It is also a great source of calcium.
Crackers – Crackers are a simple go-to snack that can be enjoyed with cheese or peanut butter. They are also a good source of fiber and vitamin B.
Bottled Water – You can’t go wrong with keeping bottled water in your break room. Not only is it a healthy beverage choice, but it is also very portable and easy to save for later.
Yoga Mats – Yoga mats are a great way to destress and stretch your muscles. If your company has a dedicated yoga or fitness room, yoga mats can help in a big way to incorporate exercise into your break.
Cardio Machines – Cardio machines are an excellent way to get in a midday workout. Some companies even allow their employees to use the company’s fitness center at lunchtime. However, be sure to provide proper guidelines on when the machines can be used and the duration each person can use them.
Weights – Weights are an easy way to get a strength-based workout at the workplace. This is an excellent option if you have an employee interested in lifting but not cardio.
Games and Activities
Jigsaw Puzzles – An easy and fun way for multiple employees to bond in the break room, is to work on jigsaw puzzles. They can see there progress toward a greater goal while giving their mind a break from the stress of work.
Board Games – If you have a few board games on hand, you can easily engage coworkers during your break time. Be sure to set some ground rules about who can play and when.
Reading – Reading is a great way to keep your mind active and engaged during your break. Bringing a book to the break room will help keep you focused and engaged when you are not eating or socializing with your coworkers.
It is important to design your break room space to promote good health and well-being. A healthy break room is a win-win for both employers and employees. It is a space where employees can have healthy food and beverages and engage in interactive, healthy activities like puzzles, reading, and yoga. Interactive, happy employees make the workplace a haven of productivity.