Wellness Programs in the Workplace by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
In the past month I interviewed my Alliance Partner who spoke about the importance of having wellness programs in the workplace. I am highlighting the most important points we covered during our interviews in this weeks blog.
Here are a few statistics:
60% of Canadian adults spend their entire workday seated, and 56% are classified as “Physically inactive.”
The majority of Canadian adults (over 15 million) spend half their waking hours at work this does not include the time they spend commuting.
It is no wonder employees suffer increased depression, osteoporosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and heart disease.
There is also the impact on the organization:
- Increased disability payments & higher workers compensation claims
- Decreased productivity
- Increased absenteeism
- Poor employee satisfaction
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada – Healthy Living Unit:
- Physical activity can reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 50 percent.
- Regular physical activity reduces the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and coronary heart disease – the latter by as much as 50 percent.
- Physical activity can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 50 percent. Diabetes is a complicating factor in heart disease and stroke.
- The risk of osteoporosis is reduced through regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence and there is also evidence for maintenance of bone mass through physical activity and calcium supplementation in adulthood.
- Regular physical activity improves function and relieves symptoms among people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In many cases, fewer medications are then necessary.
- There is evidence that persons who are overweight can reduce their risk of disease by being active and fit
There are many benefits of offering a work wellness program including a positive return-on-investment, some of these include:
- Reduced costs of healthcare
- Improved morale, stamina and overall well being
- Improved self image
- Reduces stress levels and more employee engagement
- Improved productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
- Improved teamwork and employee relations
- Reduced costs of recruiting
- Reduced illness and workplace injuries