If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s the importance of maintaining our overall health. Some of us may have become a little bit stagnant during lockdown and quarantine, especially for those who had to enter a work-from-home environment where they’re not really bustling about during the day. However, employers are recognizing the issues that impact their employees and are doing more to encourage wellness. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that companies are implementing programs that are all about staying healthy.
Understanding Wellness Programs
Most employers will offer health insurance as part of their benefits package for full-time employees, but other businesses are looking beyond coverage by implementing wellness programs. These programs are designed to encourage better health habits, from dietary benefits to regular exercise routines. Some wellness program examples allow employees to connect through apps that tie in the ability to monitor everything from a food journal to the steps you get in during the day. There are numerous types of initiatives that address different areas or dimensions of well-being.
A workplace wellness program is intended to encompass all facets of health: physical, mental, financial, social, and occupational. Mental health has become especially important for these programs as businesses look to break down barriers and stigmas that come with dealing with emotional issues. This includes therapy outlets to talk out feelings, as well as offerings to tamper stress and anxiety that could be brought on by tasks in the workplace.
Physical Activity in the Workplace
Let’s face it: Most offices have people sitting at their desks all day and not doing much else than walking between cubicles when it comes to physical activity. The truth is, medical conditions can arise from being stagnant all day, most noticeably weight gain, which is at the heart of a lot of conditions related to physical health. This includes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and even diabetes. That’s why businesses are trying to create a lower risk of these disorders by encouraging their employees to get active.
As part of wellness programs, offices may sign up for extracurricular sports or athletic activities. These variables allow for an outlet to curb aneurysm risk factors. Beyond family history, hypertension and other unhealthy behaviors can put people at a higher risk of a rupture brought on by the weakening of an artery wall. Along with the proper screening, healthier behaviors that encourage greater circulation throughout the system help to prevent cardiac and neurological issues. By taking proactive steps now, employers can avoid a medical emergency in their workplace.
Businesses recognize that health insurance costs can be driven higher by the poor health of their employees. That’s why a wellness program is considered a welcome expense to bring down other costs when it comes to caring for various illnesses and disorders. One method is by rewarding tobacco cessation. Smokers are considered high-risk for insurance companies in health and life insurance coverage. Eliminating smoking can also immediately lower the risk of complications for other health conditions.
Some workplaces encourage healthier diets to eliminate these risk factors. This is done by providing healthier snacks in the break room or implementing a weight loss challenge that rewards employees for dropping the pounds. The reward can be monetary, or even vacation time tacked on for full-time workers. Across the United States, obesity remains one of the biggest concerns, and lack of movement and physical activity is at the heart of the issue. Employers who want to encourage healthy and better lives for their workers should consider implementing their wellness programs as soon as they can for a happier and healthier workforce.