We spend 40+ hours per week at work so imagine the positive effect a health conscious workplace would have on us! In the US, businesses are jumping on the band wagon of health and fitness, recognizing that health care costs their country 15% of its entire output (GDP). Surely prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. Some of the initiatives companies are doing include;
- Lifestyle coaches
- Health fairs
- Onsite classes
- Weight loss programs
- Sporting events
- Web resources
- Incentives for healthier lifestyles
Some of the biggest challenges in setting up these initiatives are money and cultural differences, but on the whole these programs are welcomed into workplaces. Cost shouldn’t be an issue considering a high risk 45- 54 year old man costs a company $5813 compared to less than half that amount ($2081) for a low risk man of the same age. This doesn’t even include productivity loss or time off work.
Most health and well being programs cost between $50 and $400 pa per person, highlighting prevention being better than cure. So how can you help to incite a healthy environment at work? Here are some tips:
- Set staff challenges, such as weight watcher 12wk program, global challenge, city to surf team
- Set up sporting groups
- Arrange a corporate gym membership and see what club activities can be arranged for your business
- Organise for fresh fruit to be delivered daily and do away with the biscuits and chocolates
- Speak to your HR department and find out what has worked, what their plans are
- Start with the person sitting next to you, hold each other accountable for your workouts and diet plan
It has been proven that unhealthy people are expensive and less productive than their healthier counterparts, so why are some companies so slow to address health issues at are work?
What does your company do to promote a health and fitness, and is it working?
Source: Michigan Business