Whether you are an employee trying to stay healthy or a business owner who wants to find ways to keep healthcare costs down, a wellness program can be extremely helpful.
What Are Workplace Wellness Programs?
Workplace wellness is any plan used to promote overall health for employees and their families. When these programs are successful, they reduce healthcare costs for employers and produce happier and more productive workers. A wellness program can focus on a variety of different preventative health activities such as healthy eating and exercise plans.
Employees are encouraged to stop smoking, exercise more, adopt a healthier diet and focus on alleviating mental health issues such as depression and stress. If time or funds are not available to devote to a full-blown wellness program, implementing a few simple ideas can still be useful.
My Office the Gym
Encouraging employees to exercise can be as simple as posting signs reminding them to take the stairs as often as possible. Taking a few minutes at the beginning of each workday to lead employees in stretching exercise is also a great idea. If there isn’t enough time or space in the office for exercise, many gyms offer discounted membership for groups.
Not Just Any House Call
Hosting an on-site health seminar with representatives from a local doctor’s office can be extremely helpful for employees. Things such as offering flu shots and blood pressure screenings in the office is the first step in preventing bigger issues and excessive sick days during the year. Employees can also take the opportunity to schedule doctor’s appointments without having to take time off work.
The Dreaded Afternoon Candy Bar
Look around the break room at any office and you are likely to see vending machines filled with sugary drinks, candy and potato chips. Having healthy options in the break room to replace sugary snacks is a step towards better eating habits. Many vending companies stock their machines with healthier items. If changing out vending machines isn’t an option, employers can place baskets of fruit in the break room once a week to encourage workers to choose fresh items over candy when they’re feeling hungry.
Taking the Stigma Out of Mental Health Issues
Managing stress and other mental health problems is critical for job satisfaction, productivity and prevention of more serious health issues. Stress can lead to elevated blood pressure, difficultly sleeping and even heart disease. Relieving stress can be as simple as taking more breaks during the day. Employees should be encouraged to step away now and then and take a short walk if they are feeling stressed out about work or personal issues.
Companies can also offer an assistance program for any employee dealing with stress, depression or financial problems. This can be as simple as making sure that any employee with mental health issues has someone to talk to about their problems.