According to the 2011 Work+Life Fit Reality Check survey, five out of ten full-time employees believe that their “health is affected–you’re stressed or lack time for exercise” without the ability to work flexibly. Here is a nice little article from Fast Company…..
We are so happy to see “Apple Inc” jump on the healthy employee train by providing their over worked Geniuses with weighted coffee mugs and and ergonomically correct mouse pads. Great work Apple! We need those guys in tip top shape…
Here are a few facts from the University of Minnesota,
As much as WellBe is a small employee health and wellbeing company, we have some lofty goals for the world. The belief that a healthy lifestyle is contagious, and that the efforts of one can impact many, are what keeps excited about the challenge. So, where does this fit into employee health and wellbeing?
It’s pretty simple really.
The one thing that you will realize the more you look at the world today is that the Environmental, Food and Health Crises are all interconnected.
Todays food and agriculture practices represents 19% of all US energy consumption. Add this enormous fossil fuel consumption to the pollution and deforestation caused by a broken food and agricultural system designed to maximize profits at the cost of nutrition, and you’ll see a great opportunity to kill more than a few birds with one stone
A companies working environment has a direct impact on the health of its employees. You may have all the best intentions to inspire health by providing programs and initiatives to educate and inspire healthy decisions on the part of your staff, but, unless you provide them with a healthy environment to work in, your efforts will be drastically hindered.
I’m talking about your employee canteen, kitchens, snack bars and vending machines. Lets take a step back.
We are in a health crises largely due to the QUALITY of food that we eat, and not necessarily only the quantity. (I’ll save this for another article…) Highly processed, chemicalized, sugar laden, fake fat, nutritionally deficient food makes up the large part of our daily diet, and until we address this, the health battle will an impossible battle to win.
Taking a long, hard look at quality, source and preparation of the food in your company can go a long way to achieving your health and sustainability efforts.
Think about it!
Can you imagine feeding your employees healthy, fresh, nutrition bursting food sourced from your local community?
I don’t think anybody would disagree the fact that we honestly do not have the first idea of how to read a food label. Are they made this way to confuse us?
Who knows, but there has been a lot of pressure on the FDA over the last couple of years to put stricter controls on how food is labeled. It is looking like the tide may be changing, and this will hopefully be happening soon.
Until then, we will have to put up with the manufacturers jockeying around the issue, continuing to keep us in the dark. (see above label)
Click through to the rest of the article to see how they do it in the UK.
A great article in Forbes breaking down the results from the Edelman Health Engagement Barometer 2010 study. It highlights the argument for companies to make the health of their employees and communities a part of their business strategy.
The average American spends 47 hours a week at work. Since most people spend more hours at work than they do anywhere else, improving employee health could be a key to solving our nation’s health crisis. Continue Reading
Here is a really interesting presentation form Dan Pink at TED Global Conference July 2009. (and it’s only 18min!)
A great speaker with a trio of influential bestsellers, Dan Pink has changed the way companies view the modern workplace.
How does this relate to employee health and wellness?
Well, motivation…… Incentivizing an employee health and wellness program is a big question mark for any company. It can also work out to be the most expensive aspect of the whole program.
I am not a huge fan of giving employees cash to be healthy. I honestly feel it sends the wrong message. I believe that we all know, in our hearts, what is the best motivation for us.
It’s the knowledge that we are doing something for the “greater good.” The fact that each employees efforts is a part of a bigger picture. Not only for their own health and happiness, or for the betterment of the company as a whole, but a much bigger, social purpose. The health of every other person around us. Our kids, family, friends, communities… The world and its environment as a whole.
There is no more contentious issue in this country right now than Health Reform. Now, whether you’re a fan or not, at this point we really will just have to wait and see how it works out.
That said, I honestly believe that there is a bigger issue here, and that is the need to reverse this countrys downward spiral of ill health and rising costs.
Looking through the health reform legislation, and believe me I skipped 99.9% of it just focusing on the pieces that will impact employee health and wellness, this is what I get…
Thankfully, there is a general change of direction from reactive health care, to prevention and education.
This is the single most important factor in this Health Care Reform Bill. Because all the research out there tells us that unless we start moving toward a healthier lifestyle, this country is destined for more health, and subsequently, financial problems than we can handle.
Let’s break it down into layman’s terms how the new legislation can help with employee health and wellness programs,
Grants to pay a portion of the cost of comprehensive workplace health promotion programs for small businesses.
The option for employers to offer employees a discount on their premium of up to 30% for engagement in health promotion programs.
More Research into health promotion and best practices.
The development of a National Health Promotion Plan.
Regular periodic surveys on workplace health program prevalence and components.
Technical assistance to enhance evaluation of workplace health promotion programs.
What do you think? Is this is a good start toward making employee wellness programs more afforable and effective?