Research confirms what human resource professionals long-suspected: a high-quality worksite wellness program can attract excellent employees, improve on-the-job decision-making and work efficiency, improve employee morale and company commitment, decrease turnover, and reduce organizational conflict.1
The American Heart Association (AHA) did a large study on the effect of workplace wellness programs for cardiovascular disease prevention (CVD) and found that wellness programs are a proven way to prevent major risk factors for CVD and stroke, including cigarette smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, physical inactivity, and diabetes. 2
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM) published research that found that participating in healthy lifestyle programs can help improve productivity levels among employees and save money for their employers.3
Workplace Wellness Programs Reduce More Than Just Healthcare Costs
A clear benefit of a workplace wellness program for small, medium and large-sized businesses is reduced employer medical costs. The JOEM study also finds that "visionary employers are looking beyond healthcare costs to consider the total value of health." They know the importance of having a business that improves quality of life both in and outside of work and has positive links with the larger community.
More and more "visionary employers" are setting-up workplace wellness programs that help their employees live healthier lives and at the same time add to their bottom line.
Who are Workplace Wellness Champions?
Even the best worksite wellness program cannot meet the company's goals if employees do not take part. Employers must promote the program and make it easy to join. That is where Wellness Champions come in.
Usually an unpaid volunteer, the role of carefully selected employee representatives is to encourage involvement in the program's activities among co-workers.
The most effective workplace wellness champions tend to be employees who are:
- Enthusiastic about living a healthy lifestyle and have an interest in bringing such a culture to the worksite— even if they are not yet as fit as they can be
- Skilled in communication and can tell co-workers about the program with sincerity
- In good-standing within the company and can give honest feedback and progress reports to corporate leadership
The Benefits Workplace Wellness Champions
Positive co-worker relationships can improve the success of a workplace wellness programs by:
- Social influencers (think social media!) Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that people are influenced by the healthy behaviors demonstrated their friends, family and co-workers.4
- Understanding and sharing wellness program tools and encouraging co-worker participation.
- Finding ways to customize, improve and grow the wellness program.
Learn More About Workplace Wellness Solutions
Healthy Workforce 2010: An Essential Health Promotion Sourcebook for Employers, Large and Small. Washington DC; Partnership for Prevention; 2001.
- Journal of the American Heart Association, Worksite Wellness Programs for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Circulation published online Sep 30, 2009.
- The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Improving Employee Productivity Through Improved Health, October 2013.
- New England Journal of Medicine, The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years, July 26, 2007.
About Doylestown Health
Doylestown Health is a comprehensive system of inpatient, outpatient and community services connected to meet the health and wellness needs of all members of the community. Our independent and nonprofit system is dedicated to healthcare excellence from childbirth to end-of-life care.
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