Health Promotion in the Workplace: Transforming America
The most serious health risks are behaviors that relate to lack of exercise, poor diet, and substance abuse including alcohol and tobacco. These are the toughest health risks to tackle, present the highest cost for group wellness plans, and represent only a small portion of the employee population.
Many employers have elected to fund a wellness plan geared toward health promotion in the workplace, but they need help to achieve a higher level of productivity as an end result.
Health Promotion in the Workplace: Shifting Focus
America’s diet-related health risks have gradually become an outcome of the food and beverage industry, media marketing tactics and a lack of enforcement of American food guidelines in the public eye.
While many larger companies have more of a financial cushion from which to fund health promotion in the workplace, smaller companies are squashed under the burden of health care costs.
The extent to which the overall poor level of American’s health affects every aspect of well-being is more suitably addressed as a national problem over and above a worksite effort.
From this perspective, government assistance for health promotion in the workplace would appropriate wellness plans where they are most needed. These sorts of initiatives would shift the cultural focus from one of ambivalence to one of health promotion in the workplace.
Health Promotion in the Workplace: A Social Event
A strong advantage of implementing wellness plans at the worksite is the social aspect of employee-employee contact. Close-knit or even quasi-social groupings reinforce positive health promotion in the workplace.
These attitudes are carried over into the homes of the employees. Other options which lend themselves to socialization are outdoor exercise trails, running clubs, lunch health and wellness tutorials, and the sharing and posting of free educational materials.
Health Promotion in the Workplace: Allocating Funds
On average, ten percent of any given payroll is allocated to health benefits for employees. Of this ten percent, some provision should be made for wellness programs that foster health promotion in the workplace and promote health risk reduction.
Addressing the employee population as a group to determine how the ten percent is divided has shown to produce greater changes in productivity levels for companies that have used this kind of input than for companies that have not.
Health Promotion in the Workplace: Six Elements of Success
That wellness programs are a benefit to the health of people in the United States is not so much in question as how wellness plans are applied to achieving health promotion in the workplace. Experts agree that the presence of: health education, links to related employee services, supportive physical and social environments for health improvement, integration of health promotion into the organization’s culture, and employee screenings followed by adequate treatment are the key components.
The presence of these six qualifiers is the common denominator to employers who have received a return on their wellness program investment. Unfortunately, only 6.9% of wellness plans have these elements within their design.
Overall, employees embrace the idea of health promotion in the workplace. Wellness programs portray that the employers value their employees and care about their health. Employees who hold their employers in a higher regard function better and are more productive.