What does this term Workplace Wellness mean? Workplace Wellness is an employer policy that has been moving into the forefront of our work-a-day life. More companies, of all sizes, are implementing programs that benefit their employees well-being, and of course their bottom line. Workplace Wellness programs represent a great handshake between ROI for companies and long lasting health benefits for all participants.
We all know about the health crisis in our country. In the workplace the greatest concerns are obesity, diabetes and heart disease. "We spend $28 billion a year on the effects of obesity and inactivity. And obesity is about 90% preventable" says California Senator Tom Torlakson. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity will cost us $2 trillion in health care costs nationwide. For an individual who contracts diabetes they face a 300% increase in health costs. With one in three of us at risk for diabetes, this is serious news. Messages about the importance of proper diet and exercise abound, yet we face longer commutes, extended workdays, and increasing number of households with both parents working. All of this adds up to a more sedentary life and a penchant for unhealthy (yet convenient) meals. Attaining a healthy lifestyle seems more and more elusive.
But it's not impossible. The office is now the place where proper diet and exercise are being supported. Increasingly companies are supplying the access to healthy solutions. These measures can be great or modest, suiting any budget and company size. The shift into Workplace Wellness begins with leadership and desire for change, either from management or ad-hoc employee committees. All companies are different, and it's important to develop programs that fit the company's culture - one company's Morning Yoga may be another's Boot Camp. A kick-off health fair is a good way to communicate with the whole workforce and assess their needs.
If you are a FruitGuys customer - then likely your company is already on the path to Workplace Wellness reform. A primary step begins with access to healthy food like delicious fruits for snacks and waters instead of sodas. A next step would be access to physical activity like Walking Clubs or gym memberships. Company sponsorship of Health Risk Assessments, smoking cessation programs and encouragement for breast-feeding mothers are other key components to helping people be healthy.
Since work is where most of are all day - it's a good place to maintain healthy habits. American companies by and large have realized this - and they get a benefit too. The US Department of Health & Human Services reports that, for every dollar invested by employers in Workplace Wellness programs, there is a median savings of $3.14. That savings is due to a 28% reduction in sick leave, 26% reduction of medical costs and 30% reduction in worker's comps claims. When it come to Workplace Wellness programs - a penny earned, is three pennies saved.