Modeling Healthy Habits: Tips for Managers in the Workplace

November 2, 2023

Table of Contents

Additional Resources

Modeling Healthy Habits: Tips for Managers in the Workplace

The manager’s role in the modern workplace often extends beyond the traditional responsibilities of delegation and oversight. Today, the most effective leaders recognize their influence extends into their team’s personal and emotional well-being.


When we explore the nuances of modern management, the concept of modeling healthy habits emerges as pivotal to leadership in the workplace.


Managers have an opportunity to guide the habits and behaviors of their employees – they set the tone for the company culture, and the habits they embody trickle down. This trickle-down effect impacts not only productivity but also the overall well-being of the team.


Healthy habit modeling isn’t simply about promoting physical health or productivity – it encompasses a holistic approach to overall wellness, including fostering an environment where employees can thrive both professionally and personally. Happy employees are productive employees after all!


When managers prioritize their well-being and exemplify healthy habits, they improve their work-life balance and empower their team to do the same. 


Today, we’ll highlight various ways managers can model healthy habits as an inspiration, not an imposition: leading by example, effectively managing stress, solid communication, team building, and promoting training and resources for a healthier workplace.


Read on to learn to pave the way for a happier, more productive work environment – a win-win situation where the well-being of employees and the organization’s success go hand in hand.

Healthy Habit Modeling: Lead by Example

Let’s look into a few simple ways managers can model healthy habits for employees and cultivate a positive, happy environment at work.

Prioritize Self-Care

It’s easy to lose sight of taking care of ourselves and prioritizing wellness. However, self-care is integral to overall health. 


Here are a few ways managers can prioritize self-care at work and model healthy habits:

  • Demonstrating Work-Life Balance: Work-life balance is fundamental to taking care of ourselves. When managers show how they value and prioritize their personal lives, they send a message to their team that it’s acceptable for them to do the same. 
  • Setting Clear Boundaries: Clearly defined work hours and personal time. Avoid sending work emails or messages during off-hours.
  • Taking Regular Breaks: Encourage and take breaks during the workday. Short breaks incorporating a quick walk or a moment of meditation can help reduce stress and boost productivity.
  • Using Vacation Time: Managers should set an example by taking their allotted vacation days, showing the importance of recharging and enjoying personal time.
  • Avoiding Overwork: Be mindful of overworking and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself and your team. Recognize that consistently working long hours is not a sustainable or healthy model for productivity.

Embrace a Healthy Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet is vital in overall wellness, and managers can be pivotal in promoting healthy eating at work. 


Healthy eating habits can improve employees’ energy levels, mental clarity, and well-being. Here are some examples of behavior that support and encourage an environment of healthy eating:


  • Leading by Example: Choose nourishing foods and beverages when eating in the workplace. Opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of water. 
  • Choosing Healthy Office Snacks: Encourage healthy snack choices in the office, like fresh fruit, nuts, and yogurt. Skip the sugary snacks like donuts and breakfast pastries, as it can lead to a crash in energy and decreased productivity.
  • Implementing Wellness Initiatives: Wellness programs that focus on building healthier habits around food and movement, like Fresh Tri, can foster a sense of community and shared commitment to better health and wellness.
  • Encouraging Lunch Breaks: Remind your team to take proper lunch breaks away from their desks or work stations and use that time to eat mindfully and recharge.
  • Hosting Team Lunches: Organize occasional team lunches or potlucks where everyone brings their favorite nutritious dish. Community building is a bonus byproduct!
  • Providing Education and Resources: Share information about the importance of a balanced diet with your team. Provide resources like articles, recipes, and apps that guide employees on how to make healthier choices around food.

Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and managers can impact their employees’ physical well-being by promoting movement in the workplace.


Here are a few ways managers can encourage movement during the workday, promoting physical health and productivity.


  • Walking Meetings: Suggest taking meetings on the move, where team members discuss tasks or projects while taking a stroll, which can boost creativity and aerobic exercise.
  • Fitness Challenges: Organize fitness challenges, like step challenges, where employees compete to achieve a daily or weekly step goal. Recognize and reward participants for their efforts.
  • Ergonomic Workspaces: Promote ergonomics in the office, including adjustable desks and chairs to encourage proper posture and movement. If your workforce is more mobile in their day-to-day duties than a typical office, ensure that they’ve received training on how to protect their bodies during repetitive movements.
  • Fostering a Supportive Environment: Cultivate a supportive environment for employees pursuing physical fitness goals. Encourage peer support and create channels for sharing fitness achievements and tips.


By emphasizing the importance of movement, managers demonstrate that they value the well-being of their employees. Regular exercise improves physical health and contributes to stress reduction, increased energy levels, and enhanced focus – key elements of a positive and productive workforce. 

Practicing Stress Management Techniques

Stress is an inevitable part of work, but how we manage it can make all the difference. Managers play a role in acknowledging and addressing stress and modeling effective stress management techniques.

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Mindfulness helps to center us and bring us back to the present moment. Mindfulness techniques can help your team manage stress and improve their emotional well-being. Suggest short mindfulness exercises at the beginning or end of meetings or provide resources like meditation apps or guided relaxation sessions. 


Other stress management techniques, like deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or journaling, help lower stress during busy times. Lead by example and share your experiences with different stress reduction methods. When your team sees you actively managing stress, they’ll feel more comfortable doing the same.

Effective Time Management

Poor time management leads to excessive stress at work. Help your team develop effective time management strategies like using time management tools, setting realistic deadlines, and fostering a culture where employees are encouraged to ask for help when feeling overwhelmed.

Setting realistic productivity expectations can reduce stress for your entire team. Be transparent about workloads and deadlines, and ensure everyone understands their role in achieving team goals. 


When your team can efficiently manage their time and know what is expected from them, they are less likely to feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

Promoting Team Building and Bonding

A cohesive and bonded team is often more productive and happier. Managers can facilitate team building and bonding activities that enhance collaboration and relationships among team members. Start by asking your team members what they would actually like to participate in – getting their feedback can help steer you away from the dreaded “mandatory team-building activities.”


Team building can happen in the office, with wellness challenges, cook-offs, fitness-themed events, or with group activities outside of work. Try something different, like volunteering opportunities, or sports activities, all of which help build trust and strengthen bonds among team members. 

Providing Training and Resources

Managers can provide access to resources and opportunities for growth, development, and overall wellness. This benefits the team’s professional well-being and supports a culture of continuous learning and self-improvement. 

Offering Access to Wellness Resources

Employee resources can go a long way in promoting wellness among employees. Here are two ideas for your team to consider.


  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Offer information about EAPs, which can provide employees with counseling, support, and resources for managing personal and work-related challenges.
  • Wellness Workshops: Organize wellness workshops on stress management, nutrition, and mental health topics. Invite experts or use online resources to make these workshops accessible.

Encouraging Skill Development

New skill development can give employees greater pride in their work, improving their mental health and productivity. Here are two ways to encourage growth and learning at work:


  • Professional Growth: Promote professional growth and development by offering opportunities for skill enhancement, training, and career advancement. Encourage team members to set and work toward their career goals.
  • Promoting Learning Opportunities: Provide resources and support for continuous learning, such as access to online courses, certifications, or seminars. You can even take it one step further and offer a stipend to be used toward their learning program of choice! This helps employees stay engaged and challenged in their roles.

Fully Supported: Your Workforce + Fresh Tri

Healthy eating, moving more, stress management, team building, and training are essential to creating a healthy and supportive workplace. 


Managers play a central role in fostering these practices, ensuring that employees excel in their roles and experience reduced stress, improved well-being, and a strong sense of belonging within the organization. 


This holistic approach to management leads to a more vibrant, motivated, and productive team. 


It feels like a lot to carry for an already busy manager, but you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help! The Fresh Tri app is free for everyone to use and can be scaled to meet the needs of your diverse workforce. Do they need help managing stress? We’ve got you covered! How about getting better sleep or making healthy food choices? We can support them there, too. 

Ready to “Tri”? Reach out to learn more about how Fresh Tri can fit into your workplace.

Let’s start together

Get Healthy, Stay Healthy—Feel Better.

Continue Reading