Workplace Wellness

Topics: Health care, Public health, Medicine Pages: 7 (1465 words) Published: February 3, 2013

What Is Workplace Wellness?

Workplace wellness is any program that aims to improve the health of your employees and their families while reducing your health-related costs as an employer. Many companies implement comprehensive wellness programs that focus on preventive health and lifestyle modification. Workplace wellness includes organizational policies designed to facilitate employee health including allowing flex time for exercise, providing on-site kitchen and eating areas, offering healthy food options in vending machines, holding “walk and talk” meetings, and offering financial and other incentives for participation, among many other options. Workplace wellness has been expanded over the past decade to encompass the overall creation of a “culture of health” within the worksite.

Why Implement a Workplace Wellness program?

Wellness programs are linked to greater productivity, less absenteeism, and a reduction of long-term health care costs. Health and efficiency have a clear relationship—healthy employees take fewer sick days and are more productive at work—and businesses are starting to take notice.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report revealed that at worksites with exercise programs as components of their wellness programs, healthcare costs decreased from 75 to 55%, short-term sick leave was lowered from 38 to 32%, and productivity increased from 50 to 52%.The rationale behind wellness programs is that encouraging healthy habits now can prevent or lower the risk of serious health conditions later.

According to Healthy Workforce 2010 and Beyond, a joint effort of the U.S. Partnership for Prevention and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, organizations need to view employee health in terms of productivity rather than as an exercise in health care cost management. The emerging discipline of Health and Productivity Management (HPM) has shown that health and productivity are “inextricably linked” and that a healthy workforce leads to a healthy bottom line. There is now strong evidence that health status can impair day-to-day work performance and have a negative effect on job output and quality. 

Benefits of Workplace Wellness

To the employees
Employees of co.s that have a workplace wellness program are likely to have: * Increased awareness and knowledge of ways to improve their health; * A less stressful workplace;
* Increased protection from injury;
* Improved health and well-being;
* Greater job satisfaction;
* Increased productivity and effectiveness at work;
* Reduced personal health care costs; and
* A flexible approach to health issues. 
To the employer
A workplace wellness initiative can help a company to:
* Attract and keep employees;
* Reduce the costs of disability, drugs, and absenteeism; * Reduce the effects of a stressful workplace;
* Reduce health costs or keep them contained; and
* Improve morale by creating a happy, supportive environment.


Worksite wellness programs including nutrition and physical activity components may occur separately or as part of a comprehensive worksite health promotion program addressing a broader range of objectives such as smoking cessation, stress management, and weight loss. A conceptual model has been developed by the Task Force for Community Preventive Services and serves as an analytic framework for workplace wellness and depicts the components of such comprehensive programs. These components include worksite interventions in the form of * Environmental changes and policy

* Informational messages
* Behavioural and Social skills or approaches
Here are eight ideas to bring a company closer to wellness:  * Promote preventive care.
Encouraging and even funding vaccinations for employees has one of the clearest returns on investment.  When your...
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