Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Workplace Wellness Programs

According to researchers for BMC Public Health, "Workforce Wellness Programs represent one of the most significant strategies for enhancing the productivity of workers.” Specifically, workplace wellness programs offer three major benefits to support the company’s bottom line.

1 – Implementation of a workforce wellness program provides the chance for employees to work together towards a common goal. These opportunities allow for the collaboration of ideas and prompt strong relationships between co-workers. For example, putting in place a program where employees are able to work towards a common goal, such as a team weight loss competition, will present the opportunity for everyone to work together as they try to reach their goal. This will also allow for a team environment, where everyone will be able to receive encouragement from the rest of the team if they ever run into a situation where they could use a little help. Not only in the competition, but also, it can carry over into their daily lives.
2 – Research suggests that when people are more active, they experience a higher level of brain function as compared to their non-active counterparts. Allowing employees the opportunity to participate in a program where they can be active at work will enhance their creativity and productivity. This will present opportunities for the employee to simply relax, and allow them the chance to approach an issue or project from a different angle or a new perspective.
3 – When people are active and participate in wellness programs, the employer is more likely to notice a decrease in the number of employees taking sick days and a decrease in injuries. Employees who stay healthy and workout on a constant basis are less likely to become ill. “Illness at the workplace can result in lost productivity” according to the researchers at BMC Public Health. This is not only a benefit to the employer, but will also benefit the employee as they will be able to use those ‘missed work days’ on vacation and spend time with family and friends outside work.
Creating a workplace wellness program is a winning strategy for developing a strong employee bond, enhancing on-the-job productivity, and lowering absenteeism. The costs associated with creating such a program are well worth the investment.

            Cancelliere C, Cassidy J, Ammendolia C, Côté P.  (2011, January). Are workplace health promotion programs effective at improving presenteeism in workers? A systematic review and best evidence synthesis of the literature. BMC Public Health [serial online]. (Suppl 4):395-405. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed May 26, 2012.


  1. Every company should develop some type of staff development protocol involving physically demanding routines. There is nothing but benefits of involving fitness to a daily work schedule. When we train, we feel good, when we train consistently, we start to look good, and through the entire process we start to develop habits of accomplishing small things that turn into behaviors of getting bigger things done. Once the barrier of stagnation is broken, it becomes easy to make better decisions in our diet (which is a huge part of our overall well-being), it becomes easy to be kind to people, and it becomes easy to be more productive in every aspect of our life. So, investing in the idea of a work place wellness is something that should without a doubt be experimented with and not looked over.

  2. I firmly believe in workplace wellness and I think companies should invest in it because it can benefit them as well as their employees. Doing simple things can improve the workplace. For example, employees who sit and work at desks all day could sit on a physio ball to improve their posture, balance, and keep them moving if they get tired of sitting still. If employers are really interested they could invest in tall desks that house treadmills so the employees can walk at a very slow or moderately slow pace while they work. It can help them think more intently on what they are working on and improve their wellness at the same time. Even having a simple staff meeting where people stretch and play a small game where they have to keep a balloon in the air can help them socialize and be active. If everyone incorporates workplace wellness in their everyday lives then the growing obesity epidemic and the threat of diseases will decrease.

  3. One of the most used reasons why people don’t exercise is “I just don’t have time.” Workplace wellness programs encourage and can even reward their employees for exercising on a consistent basis. If people are able to get into a routine of incorporating exercise into their daily routine, they are most likely going to stick with it. It may be something as little as a company providing walking maps/trails around the building, or maybe a little longer lunch breaks if the employee is using that time to exercise. Sometimes people just need a little motivation to get the exercise ball rolling. Healthy, active employees are going to be more efficient at work which is going to benefit the whole company. Investing in a workplace wellness program for your company is a win-win for everyone involved. After all, good health is the number one wealth right?

  4. In my undergraduate work I did at Sam Houston State University I took a course that focused on wellness programs in the workplace. This could be in a big corporation or business, or even a public school (for the teachers). There is proven research that if a company or organization has a wellness center or program then the business becomes more successful. As Travis previously stated, productivity increases, employees take less sick days and it is just a more enjoyable place to work. In the class I took, we discussed wellness competitions in the workplace such as rewarding employees for not smoking or for cutting out fast food. If a program is just thrown at the employees all at once, it can be intimidating especially if they have never been very fit. A company should survey their employees to see what the current issues are in the workplace. If most employees smoke, then do a "quit smoking" competition. If employees are having emotional issues or problems at home, have a company picnic once a month to bring everybody closer together outside of the workplace. All of these things will benefit the employee and the business. The employer will see greater work ethic and increased income.