As a society, we know how important it is to be healthy. When we’re not, the costs are staggering. According to Gallup, the cost of employee absenteeism related to chronic conditions and obesity is expected to reach $153.4 billion this year alone. According to Onlife Health, Inc., people who are fit are also four to five times more productive than those who are unfit.
Regular physical activity may be the closest thing to a “magic bullet” when it comes to our health, but the most recent data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that more than half of all adults fail to meet the recommended weekly guideline: more than 150 minutes of moderate activity like brisk walking and more than two sessions of strength training. As a result, and within a relatively short amount of time, many American businesses have become increasingly interested in offering workplace wellness initiatives to help employees lead healthier and more active lifestyles.
“When employees are happier and healthier, they are better organizational citizens,” said Catherine Bass, Ph.D., M.S., director of analytics and reporting at Onlife, a comprehensive wellness solutions company that works with health plans and large employers nationwide. “Not only are they more effective problem solvers, which improves intellectual capital and retention, but they are better able to manage their illnesses through greater medication compliance and improved awareness of their conditions.”
Many companies quickly turn to walking challenges and yoga classes as popular health-driven workplace activities, but “wellness” doesn’t mean the same to everyone. While some members may focus on physical activity or nutrition, others are more concerned with stress management or even their financial health.