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Introducing Corporate Fitness and Wellness Programs in the Workplace

Introducing Corporate Fitness and Wellness Programs in the Workplace

In Japan, there is a prescribed exercise period (usually before work) for employees. It won’t be long before the United States follows suit, although the approach may be different. With the passing of the health care reform bill, people will see a lot of changes in American health care. Many companies are already taking a more active role in their employees’ health and fitness than merely paying for their health plan. They have introduced their own corporate fitness and wellness programs.

Companies implementing fitness and wellness programs are only too aware of the benefits of having a healthy workforce. When employees are healthy, there are lesser instances of absenteeism and fewer claims on their health insurance. More than that, corporate fitness and wellness programs can boost employee morale, increase productivity, and maximize performance.

For corporate fitness and wellness programs to succeed, it is necessary for company leaders to provide the example. Business owners and managers need to be seen taking active participation in these programs. Practicing what they preach makes it easier for the company leaders to encourage employees to participate in the programs and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

The scope of corporate fitness and wellness programs vary per company. Some companies provide on-site gym facilities, while others give out free gym memberships. There are companies that organize boot camps, and there are those that purchase complete health and wellness packages from corporate fitness and wellness providers. Many companies include health information in their communication with employees whether by newsletters, posters at the workplace or through the company intranet.

Ideally, a company’s fitness and wellness program should be integrated and multidimensional. It should focus not only on employees’ physical health, but also on their mental, emotional, and spiritual health. All efforts must be geared towards building an environment that inspires people to be healthy, happy, and productive.

Any corporate fitness and wellness program’s objective is to enable employees to manage better whatever stress they may have. Fitness solutions should be tailored to each employee’s particular needs. It may also be necessary to hire an in-house wellness coach who can help employees set their personal goals and objectives, monitor their achievements, and guide them on healthy living.

Here are a few ways you can motivate your employees to get involved in your corporate wellness and fitness program:

  • Encourage your employees to visit their doctors for a physical checkup to include tests on their blood sugar, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and other indicators.
  • Disseminate information on different health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis. Address other health-related concerns like obesity, smoking, alcoholism, and drug addiction.
  • Promote good nutrition at work. Consider carefully the kinds of food dispensed by vending machines at the workplace. Provide employees access to healthy recipes, meal planners, and other information on good nutrition.
  • Acknowledge employee achievements in health and wellness in company newsletters and other internal publications.
  • Design a rewards scheme for employees participating in your corporate fitness and wellness program. Employees can earn points by taking part in fitness activities and achieving their health goals. Accrued points can be exchanged for prizes that also encourage healthy lifestyle. Examples of incentives you can use are added vacation leave credits, flexible work time options, lower premiums on health insurance, private training session with a fitness coach, membership to fitness clubs, free massage, gift certificates to health foods or healthy restaurants, exercise outfits and equipment, and small items (e.g., T-shirts, water bottles, wrist bands).
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