As Americans become more cognizant of the health benefits of exercise, many employers are launching workplace wellness initiatives to help their employees stay active. These programs are easy to organize and give your employees an actionable way to increase workplace happiness. Even better, a culture of workplace wellness can give your company’s bottom line a significant boost.
When your employees aren’t feeling 100 percent, workplace productivity is bound to take a hit. According to research from Gallup, workers with one to two chronic conditions average 1.07 to 1.08 unhealthy days per month. Workers with two or three chronic conditions averaged around 3.5 sick days each month. Many chronic conditions are unpreventable, but others — such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure — can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise can stem weight gain and prevent future weight-related issues such as diabetes and heart disease. The Mayo Clinic recommends the average person get about thirty minutes of exercise a day. Encourage workers to get their daily thirty minutes done at work through simple activities such as company walks at lunch or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Lower Health Care Expenses
Employee health issues can lead to higher health care costs, insurance claims or worker’s compensation costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The best way to combat health problems and prevent rising costs is to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
If your wellness plan can encourage employees to exercise more and eat better, you are making big steps to improve their long-term health. Try sending out diet and exercise advice, providing only healthy food for company events, and organizing activities such as company walks. Many health insurers have readily available resources for you to use like wellness calendars that can be placed around the office.
Chances are good that your employees want you to get more involved in creating a healthier workplace. A study from Deloitte found that nearly two thirds of individuals want to participate in some sort of wellness program. By setting up a program at work, you’ll be providing employees a helpful tool that most of them want to receive.
A creative program can also boost camaraderie among your employees. For example, you can launch a group competition to reach a shared workout goal and provide a tangible reward for achieving the goal. Each week, have your staff report on what they’ve done. This will build momentum as you get closer to the goal and reward. These events help build teamwork across the office, which will carry over into your day-to-day operations.
When you consider these benefits, it’s easy to see how a workplace wellness program can improve your bottom line. Start planning today to create a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.
David Rodeck is a professional freelance writer based out of Delaware. Before writing full-time, he worked as a health- and life-insurance agent. He specializes in making insurance, investing and financial planning understandable.