Workplace wellness, it’s more important than you think…

In today’s world, most people spend the majority of their day inside an office and inactivity has become more the norm than the exception. Not only does this affect both physical and mental health, it increases health-related expenses for the employee and employer. Unhealthy lifestyles can also lower productivity, increase absenteeism and lead to job dissatisfaction.

Implementing a workplace wellness program can provide incentives for healthy behaviors that hopefully spill over into personal lives.

Allowing time for exercise, offering healthy snack options and holding “walk and talk” meetings are all simple steps in promoting health. If possible, provide financial incentives such as gym memberships or increasing the paid percentage of health insurance premiums for things such as a healthy body mass index or low blood pressure.

Encourage preventative care by bringing in flu shot clinics and covering the cost.

Mental health is just as important as physical. Watch for signs of unmanaged stress and help employees find support. Stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep trouble and depression. Not to mention the toll it takes on a someone’s day to day life.

Emphasize education. Implementing a formal program keeps health top of mind. Schedule things such as “lunch and learn” workshops, publish newsletters emphasizing tips for health and stress management or start a company-wide health challenge.

Creating a culture that prioritizes and supports the wellbeing of staff and employees pays dividends in the form of health, happiness and productivity.

For more information and ideas for implementing your own wellness program, go to:

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/workplace-wellness

http://www.cdc.gov/features/workingwellness/