Here are five ways that companies are using to get on track with this goal.
Five Ways Companies Can Integrate Wellness Trends
Tame the hectic lifestyle: When asked why they don’t exercise, reduce their weight or visit their doctor, the average response from employees is, “I don’t have time.” They sight too many responsibilities that prevent them from moving forward, such as:
- A long drive home in traffic
- Cooking dinner
- Supporting the kids while doing homework
- Getting kids ready for school the next day
- Preparing kids for bed
What can your company do to help combine lifestyle healthy habits with the workplace? Biometric screenings do not take the place of a physician visit but they certainly can catch high BP, Cholesterol and Glucose problems before they turn into a major life changing event, such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
Some businesses are also including sleep apnea questionnaires, and follow up management, to help employees improve their sleep and energy levels. Many offer onsite flu shots. Incentives such as a reduction in monthly insurance premiums and gift cards often encourage higher participation in the wellness program. Encouraging preventive care as part of your overall wellness program also helps achieve these goals, as does giving employees paid time off in order to see their physician annually.
Bring weight loss programs into the workplace: Making healthy options convenient is key. Keeping these options front and center encourages employees to participate. Here is a list of things companies can easily implement:
- Yoga Class
- Zumba Class
- Healthy snacks in vending machines
- Having fresh fruit available every day. Remember that apple a day saying?
- Weight management program
- Weekly weigh-in or a weight maintenance program
Variety is the spice of life. Give your employees options and encourage them to buddy up with another employee so they can feed off of each other’s encouragement and success. Having choices also gives them an opportunity to try different things in a safe environment.
Create work spaces that incorporates fitness: When you see an exercise ball instead of a chair, what enters your mind? A steady stream of subliminal suggestions will help keep your employees focused on fitness. Can you afford to provide any of the following?
- A treadmill workstation
- An exercise ball instead of a chair
- A FitBit or other fitness tracking device
- Proper ergonomic headsets, keyboards, and hand grippers
- An area for walking indoors or outdoors
Employees can’t help but use these things if they trip over them every day!
Offer smoking cessation onsite: These programs can pay off in spades. There are so many smoking related health problems that increase your insurance costs. Smokers die on average 13 to 14 years earlier. Try motivating employees with fliers that say, “Give your family a gift and stop smoking!”
Smoking has been linked to
- chronic lung disease
- chronic heart and cardiovascular disease
- reproductive problems
- myeloid leukemia
- cancers of the kidney, stomach, and pancreas
- abdominal aortic aneurysm
The more motivated an employee is, the more likely they are to quit smoking. By implementing a smoke-free work environment and reducing their chances of taking a puff, you might help them to quit.
Implement ways to reduce stress: Much of our stress is due to everyday life. Mental health is important, not only for the employee but for the entire company. If an employee’s body is physically there but their brain is not, it can cause costly problems. Taking breaks to meditate and journaling to reduce daily pressures are helpful. Much stress can be related to finances. Posting reminders on how to manage your finances and encouraging people to implement them can prove helpful.
Can Social Networking Help?
It is a sign of the times. Social media is here to stay, and is growing. Create social networks, online engagement and mobile apps to encourage employees to stay engaged with your wellness program.
Incentives, incentives and more incentives: Find out what makes your population tick. Sometimes offering movie tickets, a coffee card, a gas card or Amazon gift card can boost them over the top. How about an extra half day off work? Encourage your employees to give you ideas and then make them happen.