Wellness and Fitness in the Workplace

In the last two decades and particularly in the 1980s, there has been a growing general tendency for organizations to propose health promotion programs at the worksite. Between 1980 and 1990 the numbers of such programs have become greater in size by 100-fold (Schabracq, Winnubst, and Cooper 2003). “Employee wellness programs,” “health enhancement programs,” “health promotion programs,” or “disease prevention programs,” as they are usually called, describe a series of activities designed for recruitment and retention of employees.

Examples of such programs might include activities directed toward smoking cessation, physical fitness, stress management, nutrition training, weight control, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, alcohol and drug abuse guidance, employee support programs, and many others. The prevailing explanation of the movement toward wellness is that organizational health care has become to a great extent proactive (Schabracq, Winnubst, and Cooper 2003) because corporate health care spending has been growing at a shocking rate.

Organizations that act as sponsors for health promotion programs thus perform under two premises. First, they accept the fact that it is far less costly to keep illness from happening than to cure it and, second, that most productive health can be approached through improved individual habits (Schabracq, Winnubst, and Cooper 2003). The advantages for the organization include lower health care costs and high people productivity while employees gain knowledge how to change health-threatening behavior patterns and thus keep out of the way of becoming ill.

Fitness and wellness programs that support employees’ health can help attract and retain employees as well as reduce the trend toward ever increasing health benefit costs, persistent absence from work, declining productivity. Today’s companies increasingly invest in ongoing maintenance for machinery or equipment. As a company’s most valuable asset, employees are worthy of a health maintenance effort greater than that for tools and devices. This paper focuses on health promotion and wellness programs, employee assistance programs, and centers.

At different ends of the wellness spectrum, they form a complement to each other and are interacting. Considered and used collectively, they constitute a total, comprehensive wellness in the workplace. Main Body 1. Wellness and Fitness Activities and Programs as a Retention Tool 1. 1 Wellness and Fitness in the Workplace 1. 1. 1 Quit smoking program and $50 quit smoking benefit This program offers private consultation and support with a quit smoking expert, together with pamphlets and education packets to help a smoker quit for the last time. The company partially compensates for the program by means of the health insurance plan.

1. 1. 2 Health promotion programs Companies offer a variety of health promotion programs to all employees throughout the year. Each quarter focuses on a topic that drives the programmatic efforts. Programs usually include nutrition, weight control, fitness, stress management, back health, hypertension, suicide, depression, breast cancer, self-care, HIV/AIDS, and personal and family freedom from risk of injury. 1. 1. 3 Screenings With purpose to determine which individuals are at high risk for chronic disease or illness, screenings are proposed on a quarterly basis to employees.

Usual screenings conducted involve blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, depression, percent body fat, flexibility, and cancer. Employees recognized as high risk receive educational training and referral to their doctor for investigation. 1. 1. 4 Water bottles for back belts Water bottle holders are intended to present an immediate supply of water for the employees to help prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion. They are delivered by the wellness agents. The back belts protect and help support employees lifting heavy items. At the same time, the water bottles help to keep employees well hydrated in particular during the summer time.

Wellness programs encourage employees to lead more healthy lifestyles. Often wellness programs include activities such as smoking cessation classes, diet and nutrition counseling, exercise and physical fitness centers and programs, and health education. Lowering future health care costs and a …

The purpose of this report is to determine whether or not it would be feasible to institute an employee wellness program at The Wrights. The objective of the wellness program is to encourage employees to participate in physical fitness programs and …

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Wellness programs result in benefits not only for the employer or the company but also for the employee and his family. The benefits may include the following: • Providing wellness services to the employees’ results in important benefits for the …

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