You might think that your own good health is exclusively your concern. If so, you are very wrong indeed. Your boss most likely realizes that when you are healthy, one: your productivity level (i.e. the company’s profit) increases, and two: you won’t be utilizing your health insurance plan as much (i.e. you save the company money). So in order to keep your sick days and doctor visits at bay, your employers are working hard to keep you healthy.
Since the 1970s big companies have offered employees on-site gyms, cholesterol screenings and most recently, exercise programs and comprehensive questionnaires that identify your risk for specific health problems. Michael Cryer, a senior consultant with the human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates, says that the goal of these wellness programs is for workers as a whole to get healthier “so that over time they’re using fewer resources than you’d expect them to.” The financial benefit from these kinds of wellness programs is at least three to five years, but as JEA and Chevron would agree, the results are worth the wait.
Lucky employees, however, don’t even need to wait the years to reap the rewards from your jobs’ wellness programs. Dominique Ralph, who works at Chevron, has lost 12 pounds since April simply by participating in Chevron’s “10K-a-day” program where employees keep track of their daily steppage using a pedometer. Today, companies provide the facilities and services you need to get into better shape and a healthier mindset. Employees of Google, one of the leaders in company wellness, enjoy gyms, fitness classes, bike repair, ski trips, an outdoor volleyball court, massage therapy, and financial planning classes to name a fewâ€”all aimed to keep employees active, relaxed and healthy. At Wellsphereâ€”an online wellness community that promotes healthy lifestylesâ€”employees can take advantage of the office gym, showers, and abundant health library.
Look into what perks and programs your own company offers, and if you find them lacking, make an appointment to speak with someone in your human resources or health and productivity departments to discuss options. The benefits of being healthy exceed a comfortable bottom lineâ€”they enable you to live a longer, happier life.
Thanks for this great insight, Nikki. And great job, Wellsphere, for offering wellness programs through you company. I'm of the mindset that every company, big or small, should be offering such programs for the benefit of its employees and its productivity.