Best Practices and Tools

Best Practices

The Government of Nova Scotia is fortunate to have a four year Best Practices Healthy Workplace Research Project, HealthyLife Works right in our midst at the Department of Justice. We are learning valuable lessons from this ground breaking project which will be applied in the corporate Healthy Workplace strategy and in other departments.

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Tabletop Display
Put Health on the Agenda

This tabletop display tool provides helpful tips on how to plan safe, supportive and healthy meetings and conferences. If you'd like to receive a printed copy for your workplace, please contact Rima Thomeh at

Contribute to a positive workplace culture:
  • provide opportunities for everyone to participate
  • listen to and respect diverse perspectives
  • accommodate participants'disabilities in advance to allow full participation
  • show appreciation and recognize participant contributions
  • celebrate team accomplishments
  • encourage participants to take a healthy lunch break
  • adopt a healthy catering policy or guideline
  • be aware of participants' need for work and life balance
  • be realistic about times set for agenda items
  • consider how to lighten the atmosphere of the meeting
  • lots of fresh water and 100% fruit and vegetable juices
  • variety of whole grain breads
  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • dips made with plain low fat yogurt or low fat sour cream
  • lower fat muffins and granola bars
  • cheese, crackers and yogurt
  • skim, 1% or 2% milk
  • whole grain breads and pasta made with little or no added fat
  • broth-based soups - avoid soups made with cream
  • salad dressings served on the side or lower fat dressings
  • smaller portions of meat, fish, and poultry
  • broiled, poached, steamed, or roasted main dishes instead of fried foods
  • meatless dishes, such as a bean or legume casserole or a vegetarian lasagna
  • fresh fruits, fruit salads or kabobs, baked fruit, fruit sherbert, frozen yogurt or angel food cake as one of the dessert choices
  • inquire in advance regarding allergies, sensitivities and special needs
Physical Activity:
  • try a walking meeting
  • incorporate light activity breaks designed for all participants (consider participants' physical limitations, pre-existing injuries, and the very physically active)
  • replace a coffee break with a walking or stair-climbing break
  • provide walking routes and gym locations for out-of-town participants

*Ask ahead about allergies, sensitivities and special needs.

Provide a healthy and safe physical environment:
  • check the meeting room for potential hazards
  • be ready for possible evacuation (have list of participants, explain emergency procedures, know who may need assistance)
  • know location of nearest first aid kit and first aid attendant
  • report any incidents according to OH&S procedures
Book rooms that:
  • are accessible and near washrooms
  • have adjustable chairs
  • have good ventilation and temperature control
  • have a reduced or low scent environment
Be environmentally conscious:
  • provide recycling and composting containers
  • use double-sided materials, instead of single-sided
  • use reusable name tags
  • use regular dishes and flatware instead of disposable ones

Related Links:

Healthy Workplace