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The Importance of Wellness Programs at Work

Wellness programs are generally initiatives sponsored by employers and designed to improve the mental and physical health of employees. The goal is to maximize workers’ productivity by ensuring that they are fit in mind and body. For example, a company may provide free gym membership as part of its remuneration package. In most cases, as employees feel that their employers care about their well-being, they feel more motivated to work and give their best.

Early Identification of Health Issues

Wellness programs in the workplace generally focus on the early detection of disease and other health-related problems. They may include teachings and on site screenings for hypertension, diabetes, some cancers and other common conditions. Not only does early detection ensure the health and productivity of workers; it also reduces medical claim costs. Of course, healthier workers are also more likely to stay within the company for longer, which means the management can save on the costs of hiring and retraining new employees.

Promotion of Healthy Practices

Wellness programs promote a healthier lifestyle among workers through various initiatives, such as conducting smoking cessation seminars and support, weight loss or stress management courses, or even in-person lifestyle coaching services on site. With all of these brought to the workplace itself, employees feel more important and are more likely to reach or even exceed the level of productivity that is expected from them.

Employee Education

In some workplaces, there are wellness programs that include offering employees the chance to complete relevant educational courses and seminars that can be beneficial both to them and the employers. These courses can include, for instance, CPR training or Automated External Defibrillation or simply AED. Through these courses, employees are equipped with critical knowledge and skills that enable them to manage emergency scenarios, whether inside or outside the workplace, until professional help arrives.

Injury Protection

Workplace wellness programs can also help control or manage injury incidences at work, especially when the risk is high (for instance, among workers who have to do heavy lifting). Research tells us that back strain and slips and falls are the most prevalent workplace injuries that occur today. Wellness programs may teach proper lifting techniques, as well as techniques that help them prevent the exacerbation of preexisting injuries or conditions.

With increasing focus on workers’ health, corporate wellness programs are becoming a must. According to research, people who exercise regularly skip work at an average of 2.11 days yearly, compared to 3.06 days a year for those who are more sedentary. By these numbers alone, it is easy to see the importance of corporate wellness programs. Employers are now expected to be actively involved in making their workers healthier and safer and their cost-reduction strategies more efficient.

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