In September, MedHQ employees will participate in the Metro Chicago Heart Walk, sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA), for the second consecutive year. The Chicago event and many others nationwide will raise money for cardiovascular research. MedHQ’s mission is equipping healthcare organizations to serve their patients better, and promoting healthier habits is a core part of our culture.
As we get closer to the walk, we are sharing a tip each month based on a favorite mantra we have at MedHQ: “We are at the heart of the businesses.”
This month’s tip is: promote workplace wellness.
Why is workplace wellness important?
People spend a significant percentage of their waking hours at work, and companies that choose to create a healthy workplace see the positive results – on an individual and organizational level.
An Aflac report noted that in 2016, 54% of employers had a company-sponsored wellness program (up from 30% in 2012), and 61% of participants in wellness programs said they have made healthier lifestyle choices as a result. Employees also reported that they had higher levels of job satisfaction.
Research from Rand Health found lifestyle management interventions in workplace wellness programs can reduce risk factors, such as smoking, and increase healthy behaviors, such as exercising and better eating habits, over time.
If you create a work environment that values employees’ physical and mental health, you have the opportunity to reap benefits, including:
- Improved productivity and reduced stress: Employees who prioritize sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet are better equipped to do their best work.
- Recruiting top talent: Employees don’t want to feel chained to their desks all day. They value a healthy environment and related perks, such as flexible schedules and company-sponsored activities.
- Lower employee health costs: Employees with health issues are costly for employers, resulting in missed workdays and steep medical care expenses.
How can your organization encourage workplace wellness?
Small changes in your work environment can start to build a culture of wellness. Incorporate some of these ideas in your company:
- Provide healthy snacks: Stock the office kitchen with nutritious on-the-go foods and drinks, such as fresh fruit, trail mix, sparkling water, and herbal teas.
- Organize regular health and wellness events: Schedule weekly lunchtime meditation, yoga classes, or set up a friendly competition – such as a step challenge with fitness trackers – for a team prize.
- Encourage breaks: Starting at the leadership level of your organization, model good mental health behaviors. Take 15-minute walks during the day, leave your office to eat lunch, don’t send or answer emails on evenings or weekends. Show employees that downtime is healthy and important.
Download our eBook to learn more about the importance of promoting workplace wellness.