A Corporate Wellness Program is an organized program to help employees in establishing healthier lifestyles. This can include increasing staff member awareness on health topics, providing behavior change programs, and/or establishing business policies that support health-related goals and objectives. Policies and programs that promote an increase in physical activity, tobacco use prevention and cessation, and healthy food selections are a few examples.

The Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness is more than simply being physical fit. The Dimensions of Wellness may include:

• Spiritual Dimension of Wellness,
• Emotional Dimension of Wellness,
• Social Dimension of Wellness
• Intellectual Dimension of Wellness and
• Physical Dimension of Wellness.

The dimensions of wellness are generally depicted as a "wellness wheel" with examples of wellness components that include nutrition, fitness purpose of life, financial planning, support systems & social connections, mind-body health, stress management continued learning and career planning. The key to individual wellness is maintaining a balanced “wellness wheel”. A comprehensive or robust worksite Wellness program addresses most, if not all, of these dimensions of wellness.

Why Provide a Worksite Wellness Program?

Workers spend a great deal of time working, and research show that our traditional work-week is expanding. To be specific the typical American now works about 47 hours per week. Plus, modern technology such as laptops, cell phones, voice and email have blurred the boundary between work-life and home-life. These realities lower the amount of time that the average person is able to devote to health & wellness activities, and yet employees are expected to be at peak performance when working.

A study by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses found that Workplace Health Promotion Programs are successful in helping employees make positive health changes due to several factors such as convenience, environmental support, and co-worker or social acceptance.

What is the Connection between Wellness and the Worksite?

Workplace Health Promotion Programs and Policies that promote healthy behaviors can have a major impact on employee wellness AND have an impact on the company’s bottom line. Research indicates that for every dollar invested by businesses in Workplace Health Promotion Programs, there were savings ranging from $1.49 to $4.91 with the average wellness program ROI being $3.14*. In organizational terms, that's more than a 3:1 minimum wellness ROI - a number that is difficult to ignore, and a best practice that should garner serious consideration from businesses. In fact, a Worksite Wellness Program literature review posted in Health Promotion Practitioner Journal found:

• 19 studies found a 28.3% reduction in sick leave
• 16 studies demonstrated a 5.6:1 return on investment
• 23 demonstrated a 26.1% reduction in health care costs
• 4 demonstrated a 30% reduction in direct health care and workers’ compensation claims

There is little doubt that a Worksite Wellness Program targeted to meet a company’s specific needs can save money by lowering absenteeism, lowering medical costs, lowering staff member turnover, and increasing productivity.

For help in starting a Worksite Wellness Program or to get a free wellness proposal you can visit www.WellnessProposals.com or www.InfiniteWellnessSolutions.com

* US Department of Health & Human Services, 2003

Author's Bio: 

John Bates is a wellness program expert and entrepreneur that owns / operates more than 200 health and wellness related websites. His work can be found on WellnessProposals.com and InfiniteWellnessSolutions.com as well as many other websites.