Tuesday, December 23, 2008

10 Steps To A Healthier Employee Population In 2009

“Strained economy? Tight budgets? Not sure if wellness can fit into your routine at work? Read on to find out how worksite wellness programs can save your company money and help you improve the health of your employees. Regardless of company size and budget, there are benefits to be had and a wide array of programs you can do to promote a healthier workforce in the New Year. Three of the major benefits of worksite wellness are: 1. Substantial cost savings. Worksite wellness can lead to a better bottom line. The return on investment has been well documented thru decades of research in this area and ranges from <1:1 to 1:6.5. From negotiating better insured premium rates to identifying cost avoidance by moderating your medical trend, companies can experience savings in a variety of ways. 2. Fewer missed work days. The seven most common chronic diseases—cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, pulmonary conditions, and mental illness—are all caused or worsened by obesity and are costing employers $1.1 trillion in lost productivity. Most importantly, research shows that much of this cost can be avoided. 3. Happier employees. Happy and healthy employees feel better about work and are less likely to look for a job elsewhere. Having a worksite wellness program sends a strong signal to employees that the organization’s concerns extend beyond the financial bottom line. So, how can you get on the wellness trail in 2009? Try any of the following tips and ideas: 1. Ask employees what they want; 2. Find the resources within - Why reinvent the wheel and why spend more money than you need to? Contact the resources which are already available to you, such as your EAP, healthcare provider and cafeteria and ask them if they can provide any wellness activities or services for you. For another layer, requiring a bit more work, you can contact local businesses or professionals (yoga instructors, massage therapists, fitness centers, etc,) and national health organizations (American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and the National Cancer Institute) for materials and possible on-site visits for a health fair or lecture. 3. Provide monthly newsletter or recipe; 4. Create a monthly theme; 5. Start a walking group; 6. Introduce a 12-week challenge; 7. Bring fitness to them - bring in a yoga instructor or personal trainer to teach a 4 week seminar on fitness where employees can actually practice the body weight exercises provided by the trainer. Look for a personal trainer with specific credentials from the NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) or NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). For yoga instructors, look for someone who has a certification and a substantial amount of experience working with a population similar to your employees. 8. Be creative; 9. Help employees save money on fitness - contact your health care provider and local fitness centers to see if they are able to provide discounts or reimbursements for weight loss programs or fitness center memberships. 10. Don’t go it alone.”


1 comment:

Ritter said...

www.totalhealthinteractive.com -- They have found the answer for Corporate America! Managers can engage and motivate their employees to a healthier, fitter lifestyle by creating customizable reward programs and fitness challenges for staff. With the option to incorporate Polar Heart Rate Monitors, staff will be held accountable and be more productive and have less sick days! Employees will have access to a custom branded online personal training and weight loss, including mobile access and impressive reporting tools. Depending on how many employees work in the company, the program costs as low as $2/employee/month.