Health and Wellness in the workplace

Most people spend a good chunk of time “at work” throughout their lives, and much of that time is spent sitting at desks, staring at computer screens for hours at a time. Then, when it’s time for a break, people often head to the snack machine in the break room to get a candy bar, or they head outside to smoke a cigarette. This is not a good thing.

Why are more and more Americans obese? It’s because we don’t eat the right foods our bodies need to stay healthy, and we don’t exercise nearly enough to combat the negative effects of sitting in one position all day long, for weeks and months at a time.

There is hope, however. Health and wellness seems to be on more employers’ minds lately, because a healthy workforce is better than an overweight, “calling in sick” one.

If the company you work for believes in health and wellness, they’ll provide opportunities for you to eat well and exercise both on and off company time. A workout room or small gym is a real bonus to many employees who can pump up their muscles or run on the treadmill before or after work. Lunch breaks spent outdoors in the fresh air with a short walk around a pond or other nature-centered area helps de-stress employees so they can feel refreshed to come back indoors and face the rest of the work day.

When companies make corporate health classes and workshops a fun option for employees, it helps boost morale while encouraging health and wellness among the staff. Many organizations model their programs on TV’s “The Biggest Loser,” where employees spur one another on to lose weight by eating better and exercising more. People “weigh-in” on a weekly or monthly basis, and rewards in the form of work perks—like getting a day off with pay—or gift certificates go a long way to keep people motivated to choose healthier food options and move their body more, seeing exercise as part of a friendly competition rather than a solo chore.

By encouraging health and wellness, companies spend less on healthcare, improve morale, and retain employees who enjoy being part of an organization where it’s about total body wellness, not just profits. Having a health and wellness focus is, in the end, profitable in numerable ways for both businesses and employees.

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