Corporate Wellness Programs: Prevent Disease, Lower Healthcare Costs and Make for Happier Employees

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Corporate Wellness Programs: Prevent Disease, Lower Healthcare Costs and Make for Happier Employees

The buzz is catching on. Corporate Fitness and workplace wellness programs are becoming more widespread throughout the country with a variety of options. The bottom line: employees are the most valuable assets to any company and healthy employees are happier and more productive. That insight is what’s spearheading the implementation of corporate fitness and wellness programs throughout the country. The best part is no program is alike. A Fitness Professional can help tailor the right program that fits the company’s budget and addresses health components, be they nutrition, exercise, or stress management. This benefits your employees, and your company’s bottom line. It’s a win-win solution.

Lower Healthcare Costs

The obesity epidemic – and related disease such as diabetes – has motivated companies to seek healthy solutions and manage healthcare costs. Healthcare costs rise every year. Employers – especially smaller sized companies – can’t afford to take on this burden any longer so the costs are now being passed on to employees through higher deductibles. A wellness program can help. Some employers are now lowering employee contributions by offering rebates to those that participate in a wellness program. A company can lower its annual health care cost from 7 percent (the national average) to 1 to 2 percent, a significant savings.

A Fitness Professional’s Role

To ensure success, a company should consult a Fitness professional and discuss goals. A Fitness professional can provide an array of options and can create the right corporate wellness program for your needs. They can engage and motivate your employees to participate, and create strategies for maintaining participation by changing programs and ensuring safety. Often, companies attempt to go at it alone with little or no experience. As a result, more programs fail than succeed. So be sure to consult a fitness professional and help your investment in health pay off.

Tips for Implementation and Success

If you’re ready to commit, here are some things to keep in mind as you consider a wellness program for your company:

Make it convenient. With longer workdays, constant multitasking, and the resulting stresses, it’s difficult to find the time to exercise. The majority of the day is spent in the workplace. Corporate wellness programs need to be convenient, considerate of workday obligations, and focused to ensure the best use of time spent. When would employees be most likely to participate? How much of a time commitment will it be? These are the sorts of questions that need to be explored before implementing a program.

Tell employees why it matters they participate… and then tell them again. Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and obesity – are the most preventable types of diseases yet they account for 75 percent of total healthcare costs, according to the Center for Disease Control. Old habits are years in the making and behavior change can’t reasonably be expected to happen overnight. But a wellness program that includes consistent education and layers of accountability motivate and support a long-term commitment to health. This component is essential and answers the question “Why am I doing this and why is it worth it for me?”

Don’t bore employees – make it interesting and fun. Creating unique and dynamic programs that consistently evolve over time ensure the best possibility of long-term success. Each week, new components should be included to create surprise, present new challenges and stimulate in different ways. A qualified certified personal trainer or fitness professional can take direct responsibility over the operation of the program and stay on top of the latest trends.

What’s the budget and what are the company’s needs? Corporate wellness programs can be tailored to fit any budget. It may include offering a group yoga class or group fitness training, or it may include more individualized attention like one-on-one personal training, or individualized nutritional counseling and meal plans. After you’ve determined your budget, next identify what the needs are. Is exercise and its many benefits – like weight loss – the primary objective? Is educating your employees on nutrition and exploring their relationship with food the main interest? If the workplace is fast paced and stress inducing, is managing stress through perhaps yoga the best fit? Reputable fitness companies can offer a variety of health services and should make recommendations after consulting with a company representative.

So why should you, as an employee, take advantage of a workplace wellness program? Every person has some sort of health risk to varying degrees, whether it’s unhealthy eating, lack of exercise or sleep, drinking, smoking, or possibly something genetic. Getting involved in a wellness program at work is the best 401k plan for longevity. We often tell our clients, “You work hard and save for retirement so exercise and make sure you’re there to enjoy it!” Participating in your workplace or corporate wellness program can help you:

  • Reduce stress and muscle strain from repetitive daily tasks
  • Lose some unwanted pounds
  • Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Achieve better sleep
  • Combat depression and lower stress
  • Save money on prescriptions
  • Build a sense of camaraderie with your co-workers
  • Less use of sick days/ lower absenteeism
  • Perform better at work

For more information on corporate fitness, corporate wellness or general workplace wellness programs, contact us here for your win-win solution.

Read 2449 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 15:38

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