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Workplace Wellness and Healthy Hearts

Workplace Wellness and Healthy Hearts

February is often symbolized with the color red—chilled, scarlet faces exposed to wintry weather, Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month.
Studies by the American Heart Association indicate that, “poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle lead to decreased well-being and are responsible for at least a quarter of healthcare costs incurred by adult employees”. Along with the fact that numerous medical studies categorize one-third of all American adults as being obese and over fifty percent of the entire adult population is defined as being overweight, focus on healthy lifestyles is crucial for individuals and employers alike.
A business that invests its energy into establishing a wellness-focused workplace will benefit both itself as well its employees. Past studies have correlated workplaces that incorporate wellness programs to diminishing healthcare costs and a decreased number of days absent from work.
Regardless if your organization is large or small in size, and whether or not there is an on-site fitness center within your facility, here are a few creative and low cost suggestions to promote and support employee wellness.
• Walking. In recognition of National Walking Day (April 4, 2014), employers may promote this date by incorporating a walking group within the workplace. This is a great option for employees who may just be embarking on a fitness regimen. Organizations housed on large properties or those with accessibility to walkways, sidewalks or trails have an added perk of promoting this outdoor activity without employees having to leave the vicinity of the workplace.
• Discounts and Incentives. An organization without a free-of charge fitness center onsite may want to consider offering discounted gym memberships to its employees. As many gyms offer corporate discounts, this benefit is likely to entice employees who may otherwise have opted out of joining a fitness center.
• Weekend or After-Hours Activities. Intramural sports activities that are sponsored by the company may enhance employee fitness as well as enhance camaraderie amongst employees.
By implementing these suggestions and communicating these resources to your employees, participation in physical activities will reduce the risk of illness and prolong their lives by getting fit and heart healthy. In addition, workplace-sponsored activities will enable employees to become acquainted with colleagues with whom they may not have otherwise interacted.
Providing accolades and recognition to the employees who enroll in and actively participate in workplace sponsored wellness activities promotes the programs to other employees who may not have joined or who are still considering them.
As February is American Heart Month, it’s a great time of year to implement a wellness program and tie it in to this healthy-heart theme. By promoting various aspects of heart health through physical activity, heart-healthy nutrition as well as stress-management tactics, a wellness program will house components that will provide employees different areas in which they may be interested in focusing their energy. We recommend utilizing a collaborative approach to designing your wellness program by including your management team, the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if applicable, as well as community fitness and health-industry businesses to set a positive starting point with respect to implementing a wellness program in the workplace. February is often symbolized with the color red—chilled, scarlet faces exposed to wintry weather, Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month.
Studies by the American Heart Association indicate that, “poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle lead to decreased well-being and are responsible for at least a quarter of healthcare costs incurred by adult employees”. Along with the fact that numerous medical studies categorize one-third of all American adults as being obese and over fifty percent of the entire adult population is defined as being overweight, focus on healthy lifestyles is crucial for individuals and employers alike.
A business that invests its energy into establishing a wellness-focused workplace will benefit both itself as well its employees. Past studies have correlated workplaces that incorporate wellness programs to diminishing healthcare costs and a decreased number of days absent from work.
Regardless if your organization is large or small in size, and whether or not there is an on-site fitness center within your facility, here are a few creative and low cost suggestions to promote and support employee wellness.
• Walking. In recognition of National Walking Day (April 4, 2014), employers may promote this date by incorporating a walking group within the workplace. This is a great option for employees who may just be embarking on a fitness regimen. Organizations housed on large properties or those with accessibility to walkways, sidewalks or trails have an added perk of promoting this outdoor activity without employees having to leave the vicinity of the workplace.
• Discounts and Incentives. An organization without a free-of charge fitness center onsite may want to consider offering discounted gym memberships to its employees. As many gyms offer corporate discounts, this benefit is likely to entice employees who may otherwise have opted out of joining a fitness center.
• Weekend or After-Hours Activities. Intramural sports activities that are sponsored by the company may enhance employee fitness as well as enhance camaraderie amongst employees.
By implementing these suggestions and communicating these resources to your employees, participation in physical activities will reduce the risk of illness and prolong their lives by getting fit and heart healthy. In addition, workplace-sponsored activities will enable employees to become acquainted with colleagues with whom they may not have otherwise interacted.
Providing accolades and recognition to the employees who enroll in and actively participate in workplace sponsored wellness activities promotes the programs to other employees who may not have joined or who are still considering them.
As February is American Heart Month, it’s a great time of year to implement a wellness program and tie it in to this healthy-heart theme. By promoting various aspects of heart health through physical activity, heart-healthy nutrition as well as stress-management tactics, a wellness program will house components that will provide employees different areas in which they may be interested in focusing their energy. We recommend utilizing a collaborative approach to designing your wellness program by including your management team, the company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if applicable, as well as community fitness and health-industry businesses to set a positive starting point with respect to implementing a wellness program in the workplace.

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