Workplace health programs have been growing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. A healthy workplace is a great benefit to employers, in a lot of different ways. However, programs like these, whether they’re voluntary or not, are somewhat controversial. Are they an invasion of workers’ privacy? And, do they really work anyway?
No matter where you stand, it helps to understand the issue a little better. Your employer has many good reasons to want you to be healthy.
A healthy workplace is a cost-effective workplace, for a lot of different reasons. First of all, fewer sick days means more working hours. Furthermore, organizations that provide their employees with health insurance know that helping workers reduce chronic conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease helps reduce costs. Healthier workers means an improved bottom line, and that’s something that appeals to all employers.
2. Productivity increases.
Healthy workers are more productive, plain and simple. One survey found that employees who eat healthy are 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance. Additionally, folks who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week or more, were 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance. Health and productivity are directly related, so employers are wise to consider this factor carefully when designing and implementing wellness programs for their workers.
3. Happiness improves.
In all the busyness and rushing around of our day-to-day lives, it can be easy to neglect certain fundamental realities about life and living. We can forget that health and happiness are inextricably tied, for example, and not just in times of poor health. Our health impacts our mood every day. And, being happy at work matters. Companies that wish to retain the best workers know this. Wellness programs reflect an emphasis on stress-reduction and self-care in an effort to improve health and happiness in tandem.
4. It demonstrates employee-centricity.
Most people won’t be happy for long working for a company that demonstrates they don’t value their health, happiness, or well-being. Employers want to show that they care about their workers, and emphasizing their health helps with that.
“A healthy environment is essential,” Dave Barnes, CEO of Gym and Fitness told Forbes. “We have implemented things such as 3pm team workouts, walking meetings, adjustable standing desks and regular healthy team lunches together. This is great for team morale and shows we genuinely value their health and well-being.”
5. Good heath fuels engagement and heightens creativity.
Research indicates that how we eat impacts our day-to-day experiences more than might be immediately obvious. A recent study from The British Journal of Health Psychology, as reported by Forbes, found that the more fruits and vegetables people ate the happier, more engaged, and more creative they tended to be. These foods encourage the production of dopamine which enhances curiosity, motivation, and engagement. Food like these also fuel the body with antioxidants that help improve memory and enhance mood.
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