June marks the 5th annual National Employee Wellness Month. It is an annual initiative that helps business leaders learn how other companies are engaging employees in healthy lifestyles. The goal of the initiative is to showcase how prevention combined with supportive social communities can improve employee health and productivity, lower healthcare costs and create a healthy workplace culture.
The workplace is an ideal social community to kick start employee wellness, providing the perfect opportunity to foster a supportive, healthy environment. Employee health directly impacts healthcare costs. What’s more, 75% of healthcare costs are driven by preventable and highly manageable chronic lifestyle diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Over 175 organizations and 70,000 employees are already supporting health challenges in the workplace. Companies compete in various fitness challenges through the month- at the end of the year, the winning team in each division each received $1,000 to donate to their charity of choice.
Even if your business doesn’t have the funds for elaborate fitness perks or corporate wellness programs, there are still great options to encourage employee health year round. Start a fitness challenge. Host a healthy food potluck once a month where everyone contributes a healthy food option. Sign your company up for a local softball or sports league. Encourage your employees to start even the most basic healthy habits. Encourage them to stand up and stretch, walk around every so often. Start a lunchtime walk or boot camp. If you do provide snacks or food, try and make sure they have healthy options as well. Both your employees and your company will reap the results tenfold.
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