Worksite Wellness... how to stay healthy in spite of the clock
Most of my waking adult life, until earlier this year, was spent in an office. Before I left I surveyed my 200+ co-workers about their feelings about wellness in the workplace. I got 70% to volunteer responses. Over half felt that stress in the workplace was at an all-time high, energy was at an all-time low, and time to take care of themselves seemed not only hard to find but harder to justify as an expense. Most of them welcomed the idea of a workplace wellness program.
If you do easy math, not taking into account overtime or travel time, say we work 40 hours each week for 50 weeks (taking into account holidays and vacation) then most people are putting in 2000 hours at work each year. In this economy though, how many of us are keeping to this schedule? Where do you find the time for your wellness? How much will this cost your employer because you take sick days because your body is not primed to fight illness and stress? How much will it cost your employer because you actually go to work, unable to focus on your duties due to illness or personal issues?
These are examples of questions that employers and their employees really need to consider these days as health care costs rise and as our quality of health declines. Workplaces throughout Minnesota have begun implementing stronger Worksite Health and Wellness Programs aimed at empowering employees with the resources to get or stay healthy. Many of these programs include on-site fitness classes, stress reduction clinics, nutritional guidance, health risk assessments, and fun programs that encourage activity through personal or officewide challenges. The benefits of these programs can include reduced healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism, and increased time spent at work actually being productive (otherwise known as presenteeism). If your employer doesn’t offer a wellness program you might want to suggest one or find out if such a program can offered through your provider. If you are interested I will happily talk with your employer about the possibility of such a program and help set up a basic program to encourage healthy activities and conversations in the workplace. Contact me for more information and an overview on my services.