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Historically, employers have been hesitant to meddle with the health of their employees. It was considered private and not relevant to the workplace. However, as companies now shoulder the ever raising costs of employees’ health insurance coverage, the health of their employees is gaining attention. Contributing to employer interest in health is the ever apparent truth that the majority of health problems affecting people today are directly related to lifestyle. Since many people spend the better part of their day at work, it is reasonable for employers to connect the dots. Work habits and environments are contributing to one of employers’ greatest expenses, health insurance. In addition to cost reductions, it is well known that when people feel good they have more energy, better creativity, improved relationships, and are more productive. The health of an employee directly impacts his or her ability to perform at work.
Now that employers realize they can play an instrumental role in reducing their expenditures on healthcare, they are looking for creative and cost effective ways to create healthy work environments. This may be as simple as organizing a weight loss challenge or hosting monthly health lectures during lunch for employees. Offering programs to support successful smoking cessation can have an immediate impact on the work place and quality of life for individuals. Some organizations take on more comprehensive corporate wellness initiatives such as requiring employees to have annual labs drawn and consultation with a wellness coach. Still others have found that subsidizing healthy activities such as acupuncture, yoga and fitness memberships have fostered an awareness of the importance of wellness. Sometimes companies don’t realize that the structure of their incentive programs or that the physical layout of the workspace is contributing to poor health. In addition to offering education and services to employees, the most successful corporate wellness initiatives involve company wide support in the form of role modeling from leadership, to healthy snacks served at meetings.
Wherever your company is on its journey with wellness, Merge Medical Center has experts who have over 10 years experience in assisting companies in the transition to healthier workplaces. We offer a wide variety of topics for Lunch and Learn Lectures and have several programs available to help employees lose weight, eat healthier, quit smoking and feel better.
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