All businesses should invest in the health of their employees. Healthy employees miss fewer days from work and are more productive on the job. Corporate wellness programs help to educate and motivate employees to make healthier choices, while screening helps to identify health issues that reduce productivity and lead to missed days from work.
Starting a corporate wellness program has another advantage – it shows employees you care about their health and well-being. That can be a real morale booster. Even if your company is on a tight budget and you don’t have the resources for a comprehensive program, there are inexpensive ways you can help employees take charge of their own health so they can consistently perform at their highest level. Here are some ideas.
Many employees are too busy balancing life and a career to make their health a priority, and that’s where a screening program can help. Two of the least expensive but most important screenings are blood pressure and cholesterol checks. Both of these tests can identify employees at higher risk for heart disease and stroke while it’s still early enough to prevent them.
Blood glucose screening is another employee screening test to consider. The incidence of type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects every organ in the body is rising, and it’s a disease that frequently presents without symptoms. Another screening exam that’s important for women is bone density screening to look for osteoporosis. Download our free health screening guide for more information on health screenings.
Corporate wellness ideas to promote fitness
One of the most important functions of a corporate wellness programs is to keep employees fit. Employees who work a desk job get little exercise unless they work out before or after work – and many don’t. Research shows that sitting for prolonged periods of time increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and overall mortality. A corporate wellness program can make employees more aware of the importance of physical fitness and options they have for staying active. Some ways you can encourage employee fitness:
- Work with a gym who can offer your employees a reduced membership fee
- Bring in fitness instructors to show employees how to exercise more during the day and how to do simple exercises at their desk
- Encourage employees to walk during lunch or break time and hold meetings while walking instead of sitting.
- Sponsor weekend corporate walk, runs and other group sports activities for employees.
- Give employees regular breaks to stretch and move around.
Corporate wellness: Nutrition and weight management
Obesity is an epidemic that shows no sign of abating. Obesity increases the risk of a number of health problems and makes employees less productive. Obese and overweight employees miss more days from work for issues like back pain and illness than people of normal weight. Genetics may be a factor, but poor eating habits and lack of exercise are the two main causes of obesity. An employee wellness program can help curb the obesity problem. Here are some ideas:
- Bring in nutritionists to teach employees about making healthier food choices, how to read labels at the grocery store and how to prepare quick meals that are low in fat and sugar.
- Give employees access to healthier snacks. Fill vending machines with “better for you” snack options, and provide employees with fresh fruit. Encourage visiting reps to bring fruit for the staff instead of a box of doughnuts. At breakfast meetings, serve whole-grain muffins and fresh fruit instead of breakfast pastries. Make the workplace a “soft drink free” zone.
- Publish a company newsletter that focuses on nutrition. In the newsletter, give employees ideas for packing a healthy lunch, ways to stretch their food budget while still eating healthy, ways to eat more vegetables and tips for losing weight. Let employees share their own health and weight loss secrets in the newsletter to add a personal touch. If you would like to use some of our content for your newsletter then contact us.
The bottom line?
These are just a few of the ways you can motivate your employees to reach for better health. For more ideas, you can download our free wellness program guide to help you get started. A corporate wellness program pays off for both employee and employer. Investing in employee health makes everyone a winner.