Workplace Wellness that Works!
How long have you been sitting at your desk today? When was the last time you had a glass of water? With busy schedules and back-to-back meetings, we know that taking the time to go for a walk, drink water, or eat a healthy meal can be hard to remember. We all want to take time out of our day to take care of our health, but sometimes the day can get ahead of us and, instead of eating that salad we didn't have time to make the night before, we're filling up on leftover birthday cake from the office break room.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted numerous studies that document the unhealthy habits we're developing in the workplace. From
sitting for too many hours
eating unhealthy, calorically dense foods
, our workplaces can often make it harder, not easier, to accomplish our health goals. With an uptick in workplace wellness research and media attention, the workplace wellness industry is booming as companies
into programs and fitness incentive packages that claim to lower your companies costs and increase the productivity of your workers.
While these programs may seem like an easy fix, the evidence isn't quite there. Last year, a team from the National Bureau of Economic Research published research on an employee wellness program
at the University of
at Urbana-Champaign. The workplace wellness program, which included biometric screenings, health risk assessments, and wellness activities like fitness classes, showed little
to no results in employee health outcomes.
So, are all employee wellness programs a waste of time? It's clear that our office environments are leading to problematic and unhealthy behaviors, but what can be done to influence our own health and the health of our employees?
While pouring money into incentive programs or one-time
screenings may be
, it's vastly apparent that healthy culture change can lead to positive health outcomes. A Dutch research team demonstrated this impact through a study on an employee wellness program that showed more effective results through
employer workplace wellness strategies that promote healthier environments and culture
While high budget wellness programs may seem like a quick path to employee health, environmental changes will ultimately produce longer-term rewards and more sustainable health outcomes. For more ideas on how your office can build a culture of health, check out the HEAL Campaign's
Workplace Wellness Resources