Many employers are loosely aware that fit employees are happier, healthier, and more productive than those who are not in good shape. However, you may be surprised to learn just how much of a difference workplace wellness programs can actually make. In fact, investing in your employees’ wellness can save you a great deal of money. Good health can minimize sick days and boost productivity. Here’s what you should know.
A variety of studies have been conducted on employee health and wellness. The average healthcare cost per employee in the United States now sits at over $11,000 per year. At workplaces that have instituted targeted wellness programs, though, every dollar invested in a program yields $6 in healthcare cost savings.
In addition, lost workdays go down by an average of 80% and workers’ compensation premiums drop by as much as 50%. Among employees who start out with a high overall health risk, a stunning 57% can reach low-risk status through a workplace cardiac rehabilitation and exercise program.
Employers across the country have begun to see the value of workplace wellness programs. Roughly 43% of employers now provide incentives to participate in worksite health screenings. 30% offer incentives to participate in at-work healthy lifestyle activities. As more people begin to take charge of their health, workplace wellness programs can also serve as part of a benefits package designed to attract and maintain top talent.
Quality of Life
Workplace wellness programs can also improve employees’ quality of life. Feeling fit and healthy can boost mood, improve energy levels, reduce stress, and enhance self-confidence. These benefits help employees to become more creative, take on tasks with renewed vigor, and find novel ways to solve problems. The benefits can also carry over to employees’ personal lives, helping them sleep better and be more productive in their non-work hours. Many people report that their overall quality of life improves significantly after making even simple changes to better their health.
Components of Workplace Wellness Programs
The size and nature of your company, the ages and interests of your employees, and the facilities you have available will help to determine the individual makeup of your workplace wellness program. Possible components include:
Health and Nutrition:
If you have an employee cafeteria, you might work with a consultant to develop some healthier offerings. In addition, some companies bring in a consultant to help employees build personalized meal plans for both work and home. Another possibility is to offer weekly or monthly health and nutrition lectures on topics that affect your employees, such as Heart Health, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, or Family Meal Planning.
Fitness and Ergonomics:
An easy way to help your employees build fitness is to start with onsite fitness screenings. Working with a mobile team, employees will go through a variety of movement tests. They will then receive personal consultations to help them understand any muscular imbalances they may have. Not only this, they recommend methods to improve posture and body mechanics to relieve pain. Some employers take fitness a step further, providing onsite fitness classes for all employees.
Ergonomics play a crucial role in keeping employees healthy and fit. An ergonomics consultant can assess existing workstations for risk factors and provide recommendations for improving ergonomics. A third of workers comp costs attributed to musculoskeletal disorders caused by the workplace. With indirect costs of up to 20 times the direct costs, ergonomic enhancements are often used to save money and boost productivity.
Stress management is one of the easiest and most important workplace wellness components to implement. Anxiety can contribute to a wide range of physical and mental health concerns, from obesity to depression to heart disease. Some employers provide yoga classes, acupuncture, massage, or other stress management options.
Workplace wellness can make a dramatic difference in your employees’ lives, can save you money, and can boost productivity. Regardless of the size of your company, the benefits can far outweigh the costs.
A full-service health and wellness center with locations in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, Santa Cruz CORE combines massage, chiropractic, corrective exercise, acupuncture, personal training, and nutrition consulting under a single roof. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 831-425-9500 for Santa Cruz for 831-426-0608 in Watsonville today.