Obesity and related conditions have risen to epidemic levels in the U.S. One reason for this is the increased automation and laborsaving devices that have resulted in a change in the way we live and work. In many workplaces today, employees participate in sedentary activities for extended periods. As an employer, this is cause for concern because obesity can lead to increased absenteeism, disability, injury and healthcare claims.
We can help by providing workplace wellness or health promotion to support healthy behavior. Examples of how we can assist include: health fairs, health education, medical screenings, health coaching, weight management programs, wellness newsletters, on-site fitness programs and/or facilities and educational programs. In addition, we can help develop organizational wellness policies designed to facilitate employee health. Examples include flex time for exercise, providing on-site kitchen and eating areas, healthy vending food options, “walk and talk” meetings, and offering incentives for participation.
Recent research has shown it is more cost-effective to invest in preventive health practices than spending resources on the small minority of employees/dependents who are responsible for high-cost health claims. What you do is really up to you, but it is important to do something that will engage employees and encourage them to take control of their health. Let’s Do This!