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How to promote health and fitness of employees

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While employee wellness programs might appear to be another costly element for employee benefit packages, they actually help you save money in the long run. Apart from the financial aspect, there are a number of other benefits like less absenteeism, greater productivity etc, which can be of great help. Often, it becomes a bit difficult to implement a full-fledged wellness program for your employees due to lack of resources and other reasons. But even in such cases, it is important to do things that will make your employees feel how you value their health.

Workplace wellness generally refers to any program that helps improve the health of your employees as well as their family members at a reduced cost in the long run. The main mission of these programs is to encourage employees to focus on certain key behaviors like improving food habits, doing physical activities regularly, stopping tobacco consumption, reducing stress etc. Here are some effective ideas to promote health and fitness of your employees –

  • Promote preventive care – Arrange vaccination programs in the office during outbreak of some contagious diseases. Encouraging and/or funding vaccination programs for employees have clear return on investments as they will help your employees avoid missing out on days’ or weeks’ of work. It will be really impressive if you can arrange on-site flu vaccines.
  • Introduce incentives – This is one of the most effective ways to promote wellness in your office. Offer rewards, be it financial or in some other form, for employees who respond positively to the fitness programs promoted by you. You can introduce offers like those who have a healthy body mass index, normal blood sugar or blood pressure reading will get an additional percentage of the cost of health insurance premiums.
  • Encourage exercises – This is an incredibly important task to perform if you really want to promote workplace wellness. If it is possible to make infrastructural changes, try offering a gym or fitness center. Encourage the entire office to use the stairs instead of the elevators, and offer subsidized membership to/discounts for a local exercise club.
  • Arrange on-site health clinics – Nothing can be better than bringing the doctor directly to the office. On-site health clinics allow the employees to go for routine checkups, without taking time off from work. Recent studies have shown that on-site clinic results in greater productivity, reduced medical costs and most importantly, add to the company’s reputation, making it a desirable place of work among the employees.

  • Educate Employees – Break-time seminars or brown bag luncheons are some of the most effective opportunities for educating your employees about healthy habits. You may recruit experts to arrange sessions on quick stress management skills, the benefits of cooking healthy meals, staying healthy while traveling etc. Also, consider bringing in yoga, aerobics or Tai Chi instructors for the lunchtime classes, if possible.

Your employees are at their productive best when they are healthy and happy. And taking care of your employees' health and overall wellness plays a large part in them being in a happy frame of mind. Therefore, use the pointers above to make your wellness initiatives for employees engaging and fun!

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