Nearly half of the workplaces in the United States offered some health or wellness program in 2017, which is a great way to boost health and energy in the workplace and beyond. The goal of a corporate wellness program is to promote worker productivity and overall health. Still, it can also save companies money by reducing healthcare costs and missed workdays due to illness. Simultaneously, wellness programs that promote physical fitness are obviously great (they’re already present in roughly 30 percent of workplaces nationwide, actually). They’re not solely enough.
The reality is that even physically fit individuals get sick, get stressed out, and have trouble keeping up with a work-life balance that allows them to care for their bodies properly. Therefore, workplace wellness programs shouldn’t focus on physical fitness alone.
Wellable. co, for example, notes how successful wellness programs are “ones addressing and promoting holistic dimensions of well-being.” They have a long list of examples of wellness programs, but a handful of them are recommended for basically every workplace, regardless of size. Initiatives such as providing free healthy snacks in breakrooms, offering reimbursements for gym memberships, providing health education (pamphlets, brochures, and webinars), offering a tobacco cessation program (cost-effective for employers since they generally only pay when/if the service is used), and incorporating “wellness challenges” in the workplace are all cost-effective ways to promote employee health.
Check out these other events that aren’t related to physical fitness:
1. CPR Classes
Offering classes that teach employees CPR, AED, and First Aid by instructors trained by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) makes the workplace safer. According to the American Health Care Academy and the CDC, cardiovascular conditions are the leading cause of death in the U.S.
By either requiring or offering incentives to employees to take their CPR certification online, more people will be trained to handle this type of medical emergency, potentially saving a life in or out of the workplace. Employees can either take these classes in their own time and be reimbursed by the company once they get their CPR card, or you can offer these classes in the workplace.
Taking a CPR/AED class through the American Health Care Academy guarantees that employees will learn the latest information based on the latest guidelines from The American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) – updated in 2020. They also offer a First Aid course (or a CPR and First Aid combo class) that also uses the latest information from national emergency response organizations updated in 2020.
2. Flu Shots
According to the CDC, despite the plethora of benefits to getting an annual flu shot, only about half of Americans get one. Meanwhile, the seasonal flu continues to cause “millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths” every year.
By either having a pharmacy tech come in to administer flu vaccinations at the workplace or offering information and incentives for going to get a flu shot in their own time (depending on company size and expenses), you reduce the number of sick days and help contribute to herd immunity for the seasonal flu.
3. Health Education
Programs that create and hand out brochures with reliable and credible information about the importance of health-related topics like annual wellness exams, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy diet, diabetes prevention, and cost-effective ways to inspire better health in the workplace.
4. Financial Counseling
According to a MarketWatch article from 2018, 44 percent of Americans find money to be their “dominant source” of stress. As many as 72 percent of workers admit to worrying about their “personal finances” while at work (one in three admit to doing so more than once a week). Offering a course on financial planning services can reduce employee stress and increase overall productivity.
5. Tobacco Cessation Program
In 2017, roughly 19 percent of workplaces offered some program to help their employees quit using tobacco products (according to the CDC). Smoking is not only linked to a wide range of health conditions, which results in higher healthcare costs, but smoking also contributes to workplace distractions associated with nicotine cravings and/or “smoke breaks.” Therefore, smoking cessation programs not only save lives but also increase productivity and lower healthcare costs. Today, there are online smoking cessation programs that encourage employees to quit smoking. Some companies even offer financial incentives of some kind for quitting smoking.