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Many workplaces around the country offer employees perks ranging from complimentary laundry services to free beer on Fridays, but the smartest perk for a company to provide may be health supplies.

According to a German study published recently in the journal BMC Infectious Diseases, simply providing workers with hand sanitizer can help to boost their productivity and reduce the number of sick days they take.

“Using hand sanitizers significantly decreased the odds of being absent with a cold, cough, fever or diarrhea,” LiveScience reports. “The study also found a reduction in symptoms of illness at work, suggesting that using hand disinfectant can reduce productivity losses from workers who come in when they're sick.”

And hand sanitizers aren’t the only health product that might help limit sick days and boost worker productivity.

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Another study released earlier this month found that people who took a vitamin D supplement every day for six months had a better chance of not taking any more sick days than those who did not take the vitamins.

Just imagine how much employees’ health and productivity would improve if employers provided them with these goods, as well as fruits and vegetables. Not only would this keep the workforce in better shape, but as companies like Facebook have discovered, offering complimentary health foods can also be a great recruiting tool for new employees.

Offices might also benefit from providing some free exercise equipment for communal use during lunch hour. After all, as we reported earlier this year, sitting too long at your desk can actually lead to heart disease and be life threatening, so the entire office might benefit from access to a treadmill – or better yet, a treadmill built right into each desk.

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