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Workplace Wellness 

 

 

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Workplace Wellness Programs:

Definition, Description, Components, and Benefits

Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs are a coordinated set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes activities, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees.

Description

A comprehensive approach puts policies and interventions in place that address multiple risk factors and health conditions concurrently and recognizes that the interventions and strategies chosen may influence the individual employee behavior change, the  organizational culture, and the total worksite environment.

Examples of workplace health program components and strategies include:

  • Health education classes

  • Access to local fitness facilities 

  • Company policies that promote healthy behaviors such as a tobacco-free campus policy

  • Employee health insurance coverage for appropriate preventive screenings

  • A healthy work environment created through actions such as making healthy foods available and accessible through vending machines or cafeterias

  • A work environment free of recognized health and safety threats with a means to identify and address new problems as they arise

  • A wellness newsletter

  • Health risk assessments

  • Health screenings

  • Workshops on wellness issues

  • Walking groups

  • Health fairs

  • Healthy potlucks and healthy snacks for meetings and breaks

  • Physical activity breaks

  • Fitness classes

  • Smoking cessation information and support

  • Incentives for participation such as water bottles, insulated lunch bags, tote bags, stress

  • balls, pedometers, and cookbooks

Benefits of a Wellness Program

A workplace health program that combines both individual and organizational strategies may produce benefits both for individual employees and their families as well as the organization as a whole.

For Employers:

  • Lower health care and disability costs

  • Enhanced employee productivity

  • Reduced employee absenteeism

  • Decreased rates of illness and injuries

  • Enhanced corporate image

  • Improved employee morale

  • Improved employee recruitment and retention

  • Increased organizational commitment and creation of a culture of health

For Employees:

  • Increased well-being, self-image, and self-esteem

  • Improved coping skills with stress or other factors affecting health

  • Improved health status

  • Lower costs for acute health issues

  • Lower out of pocket costs for health care services (e.g., reduced premiums; deductibles; co-payments)

  • Increased access to health promotion resources and social support

  • Improved job satisfaction

  • Safer and more supportive work environment