EMPLOYEE WELLNESS: HOW CAN IT BE IMPROVED (Part1 of 2)
Employee wellness is an area of ever evolving interest. It has much potential to address high risk employee populations with multifaceted approaches that produce outcomes that are mutually beneficial for both employer and employee alike. When companies invest in a healthier work force insurance claims decrease, employee engagement increases; sick days decrease, productivity increases. An unhealthy work force requires unwarranted medical care resulting in more sick days and is less productivity on the job. A major contributor of increasing health care cost is weight. Globally, 44 percent of diabetes, 23 percent of heart disease and approximately 30 per cent of certain cancers are linked with being overweight and obesity. According to the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, on average, a morbidly obese employee costs an employer over $4,000 more per year in health care and related costs than an employee who is of normal weight. The study also revealed that obese individuals who had co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol incurred greater costs than obese workers without these conditions. Obesity is correlated with a variety of such co-morbidities.
EMPLOYEE WELLNESS: WHAT TO DO
Companies need to take strong and comprehensive action. The key: Identify the high risk employee population and formulate a plan to change behavior. The need to acquire a passionate and motivated corporate health and wellness group can be of benefit. The data makes a compelling case for this recommendation and as we discussed earlier, the growing trend of unhealthy and/or overweight employees and the direct impact they have on companies bottom line dictates action. Objectively we cannot identify a need or a deficit and not address it.
Wellness programs, when implemented properly, help employees become more focused on activity and the benefits of such programs should be observable and measurable. The workplace benefit from healthy, happy, and balanced employees is truly invaluable.
Most employee wellness programs improve their culture both physically and mentally. There are multiple bidirectional relationships to well developed wellness programs. Employers adopt wellness programs and incentives aimed at helping employees live a healthy and more active lifestyle that benefits them by increased productivity, declined sick days, and reduced health care costs. These kinds of outcomes are a win win. The company wins by saving money and increasing productivity, the employee wins by being healthier.
True Health & Wellness cannot be separated into mental and physical, it is bound one part reliant on the other to be whole. Dr.FrankLayman
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