Cycling to the office, ditching the dairy or going for a dry January? Signing up for a healthy lifestyle change can kick-start your new year but when you’re at work, it’s tricky to stick to resolutions.
Monday (9 January) marks the start of JanUary 2017, an initiative run by the National Obesity Forum. It’s encouraging people to pledge to improve their health, by being more physically active or avoiding snacks, for example.
As most people know, combining lifestyle changes with the daily grind is easier said than done. Longer hours, shift working, and commuting make it hard to find time and energy to exercise or cook from scratch. And in the office itself, there are plenty of temptations from after-work drinks to slices of birthday cake.
In fact, according to the Faculty of Dental Surgery the so-called ‘workplace cake culture’ is fuelling obesity and poor oral health. It recently suggested that people cut down on sugar consumption at work and go for healthy options instead.
Prof Nigel Hunt, dean of the faculty at the Royal College of Surgeons also weighed into the debate. He said employers should make a New Year’s resolution to “combat cake culture” in 2017.
However, it’s also vital that employers create a supportive workplace and not a size-ist, bullying culture. So, how can employers encourage all employees be healthy, no matter what their weight?
Should they ban sugary treats in the office? Is there a written policy about discrimination on account of size? And should reasonable allowances be made for those who are overweight or obese?
Please add your suggestions in the comments below.
For more on the subject, here’s Katherine Maxwell, partner and head of employment law, Moore Blatch.