Challenging economic times make it critically important to keep employees healthy, productive, and present.

Polls have found that as many as 1/4 to 1/3  of Americans avoid physician visits to save money. 10% or more are delaying refilling their prescriptions or taking smaller doses to try to make existing prescriptions last longer. These types of behaviors can drive individuals further down the healthcare continuum where delayed care has high costs in terms of economics, productivity, and quality of life.

Stress levels have significantly increased at work and at home.  Many people work longer hours or take on second jobs to make ends meet. These types of changes increase stress levels in families and can lead to increased safety issues at work. Studies suggest that money and work are the two top sources of stress for almost seventy-five percent of the population.

Worksite Wellness Programs recognize that wellness is a lifelong journey and that it is an active process of making choices and commitments that can enhance the quality of life and maximize personal potential. These programs are designed to provide employees the support they need to engage in behaviors that develop and maintain optimal health.

Worksite Wellness Ideas for Challenging Times

  1. Develop a stress resiliency lunch and learn program that involves team building.
  2. Encourage employees to take short walk breaks every 60 – 90 minutes.
  3. Post health-related communications around your workplace to remind employees that healthy living is about making small choices, not major changes (e.g. taking the stairs, eating more fruits and vegetables).
  4. Check out your dining area and ensure that healthy choices are labeled to make it easier for employees to move toward better nutrition.
  5. Check your vending machines and ensure that 40% – 60% are healthy choices.
  6. Give a piece of fruit to everyone that wears their tennis shoes on Friday and takes a walk.
  7. Talk to fitness centers in your work area and inquire about and receiving a corporate discount for your employees.
  8. Organize corporate teams for the many local area walks, runs, and biking opportunities, which offer employees a chance to have fun together.
  9. Offer health screening at work to ensure you employees are focused on staying healthy.
  10. Consider having a Wellness Coach onsite once or twice a month to educate and encourage employees on how they can move forward toward a healthier quality of life.

Source: National Wellness Institute (5/20/2010), Contributor: William B. Baun, EPD, FAWHP