Health With a Capital H
Workplace Wellness: Walking the Walk
March 29, 2011
By Nate Robinson, Senior Communications Manager
The adverse consequences associated with poor Health are well chronicled, from overweight and obesity to diabetes and arthritis. The Nation’s economic downturn hasn’t helped the situation at all. In fact, according to data from an American Heart Association poll, nearly 60 percent of those surveyed admitted that the economy has adversely affected their ability to take care of their Health. Over a third of respondents reported skipping their preventive care appointments, not taking medications as prescribed, or foregoing dental visits, while a quarter of those surveyed reported that they had canceled gym memberships within the past 6 months.
To counterbalance the current state of affairs and promote healthier lifestyles among their employees, many cost-conscious companies are implementing wellness programs to help keep employees fit—and productive—which is vital to any company’s success. According to one survey, 80 percent of all U.S. businesses with 50 or more employees have some form of Health/wellness program.
IQ Solutions recently instituted the Wellness for Life program. The program represents a bold, new company-wide effort to educate employees about the benefits of physical activity and proper nutrition. Wellness for Life was designed as a year-long effort that features a number of activities offered to employees at a reduced or no cost. These activities include:
- Twelve-week physical fitness classes
- One-on-one wellness coaching
- Enrollment in a Weight Watchers program
- Access to company-sponsored activities throughout the year.
To encourage support and build additional awareness, the Wellness for Life program recently held a kickoff event and sponsored a ski trip for employees. Over the coming months, there will be more opportunities for employees to take part in a range of enjoyable activities outside of work to improve their fitness—such as the company’s walking program (a holdover from last year) or the IQ Solutions softball team.
The bottom line is that everyone has certain Health risks to varying degrees, whether it’s unhealthy eating, lack of exercise or sleep, drinking alcohol, smoking, or even something genetic. However, participation in this program puts the employee in a proactive role by arming him or her with a wealth of information—from how to lose weight, to strategies for reducing stress, to the value of proper nutrition in one’s diet.
What is your organization doing to promote wellness in its workforce? If your answer is nothing, what questions do you have when it comes to workplace wellness? We’ll post our answers in the comments section.