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Worksite Wellness Programs Benefit Everyone

It takes more than a trip to the doctor’s office to stay healthy. Healthcare experts have touted the benefits of preventative care for years and now employers are responding by implementing office wellness programs.

A 2005 survey by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions polled 365 national companies and found that 62 percent of the companies had implemented wellness programs and another 33 percent said they were considering doing so.

Leading corporations such as Dole Food Company and the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) have initiated successful wellness programs. Johnson & Johnson’s new worksite wellness program showed 80 percent of participants said they better handled stress and 81 percent stated that they increased their productivity at work as a result of the program.

The main goal of a wellness program is to maintain or improve employee health before problems arise. Some of the most popular office activities offered by companies include exercise, smoking cessation and stress management classes.

The first step to starting a wellness program is determining the company’s goals. Depending on the size of the office and the type of job, goals can include: improving productivity, decreasing injuries, or improving general health and well-being.

After the goals have been established, a wellness program should:

  • Identify hazardous working conditions and make changes
  • Provide health screenings to detect and treat health problems
  • Host workshops geared toward teaching employees to become wiser consumers of their health care benefits
  • Update employees through a newsletter or bulletin board
  • Make self-help materials readily available
  • Perform on-going evaluation of the wellness program’s effectiveness

A wellness program can benefit companies of all sizes. Small, inexpensive changes can make a huge difference to the work environment as well. Suggestions include:

  • Offering healthy foods in the cafeteria and vending machines
  • Inviting health groups to conduct educational workshops at the facility
  • Distributing informative brochures and a wellness newsletter
  • Providing free health screenings
  • Creating a walking group or partially reimbursing memberships to a local gym

By smartly managing the health of employees, businesses can benefit from greater long term productivity and lower health costs.

If this topic interests you, please join us for the upcoming CPAT sponsored luncheon titled “Worksite Wellness.” The event will be held on Tuesday, September 19 in Sacramento and on Wednesday, September 20 in Los Angeles. For more information, please contact Kristen Haro at (916) 658-0144 (Northern California) or Andrea Svoboda at (323) 466-3445 (Southern California).


 

Supported by America's Pharmaceutical Research Companies

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