Employee Health and Wellness Program

Companies want their workers to be aware of health care resources, but more importantly, to be able to effectively use them.

The poet, Virgil, once said, “the greatest wealth is health.” Although quality and coverage are ranked highly as health care goals, most Americans rate the U.S. system as unsatisfactory. Employers are interested in helping consumers be more conscious, thoughtful, and informed in making health choices.

The American Heart Association (AHA) promotes comprehensive programs that address the following:

cardiovascular disease prevention;
tobacco cessation and prevention;
physical activity;
nutrition education;
stress management/reduction;
weight management; and
early detection/screening.

Other features may include direction regarding effective use of the health care system, back pain prevention/management, alcohol and substance abuse assessment, adult vaccination, and maternal and infant health education.

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) agrees that “cultural competency is one of the main ingredients in closing the disparities gap in health care.” When developing a health wellness program, language and culture influence:

how health conditions and causes are perceived;
workplace wellness belief systems;
attitudes toward health care providers;
behaviors of consumers; and
delivery of health services.

According to an article in Family & Community Health, “culturally sensitive and appropriate programs must be developed to engage economically challenged minority and other underserved populations.”

Health and Wellness

The term health and wellness are frequently used interchangeably, but the meanings are slightly different from each other. Health can be defined as a state of our physical being, whether good or bad. Our state of health depends on various factors like heredity, environmental condition, choices of foods and drinks, fitness and exercises, sleep and rest, thoughts and our emotional state of mind. Wellness on the other hand is defined as the overall processes of maintaining a general state of good health, it entails the conscious decision of the person involved to experience wellness while health simply means persons condition.

The combined phrase health and wellness can simply be defined as a pursuit of overall health as far as human beings are concerned. The term is used frequently as a tool for promoting a better lifestyle. Health and wellness slogan has become a powerful tool in the hand of marketers in various aspects of human endeavor. However, many people are embracing the attitudes to healthy lifestyles, while some companies are busy raking in the profits.

Many food retailers, fast food joints, vitamins and nutritional supplements could see an increased demand in their products as a result of the trends in health and wellness. However many companies will be negatively affected by this trend, an example is the tobacco products manufacturers and fast food joints – but they have started modifying their strategies to suit customers’ demands by introducing another brand of their products that can fit perfectly into the consumers needs and aspirations.

The driving factors behind the drifts in health and wellness were attributed to the rate at which obesity is increasing among the Americans 1990 – 2005. High rates of heart disease, cancer and various food related disease was growing at an astronomical rates. These gory tales eventually drawn the attention of people to the needs for healthy lifestyle, this discovery was matched with series of corresponding researches and a lot of things were revealed about human anatomy and its associated health risks.

Therefore, health and wellness can be said to be a multidimensional issue because it can be attributed to the totality of human existence. It involves making a conscious efforts to improve personal general state of health, the most common elemental slogans in the business of health and wellness are:

Eat healthy foods:

Health food consumption is considered to be the most important factor in achieving good health. Health and wellness entails that the food we take is also a reflection of our physical health. Therefore, the habits of maintaining a sensible diet have become a major driving force in the general idea of health and wellness.

Keep Fit:

To keep fit does not always connote lifting heavy weights, but it generally believes that health and wellness must include a lot of physical exercise like walking or help in household cores.

Cut down the good poisons:

Health and wellness trends involves cutting down on dangerous foods that can cause illness, some habits are socially acceptable but it has a resultant effects on our overall well being. Some of the good poisons are a smoking, obey speed limits or indulging in excess fatty foods consumption.

Health and Wellness Tips For a Much Better Lifestyle

No matter what way of life you have, having a healthy lifestyle is a must. It is true that the only wealth you have is the body you keep. That is why, nowadays, there are a lot of programs, health supplements, equipment, among others that promise to give you the kind of body you want to have. However, real wellness is not always guaranteed. From all of the options you have, you only get a handful of reliable and safe ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

One might ask, “What should I look for in what I choose to become my method in achieving a healthy lifestyle?” You need to know how much of what you like to achieve that method could give you. Thus, it is important that you know what kinds of results you should get.

You can use the following list to give you a holistic idea of what it means to have a healthy lifestyle, and, in turn, also give you an idea what health and wellness program is effective.

1. It should be able to help you counter most health problems such as high blood sugar and high blood pressure in six to twelve weeks.
2. Help eliminate unwanted body fat.
3. Develop a psychological framework that conquers depression.
4. Increase you metabolism so you do not have to limit yourself from eating. You do not have to starve your body just to get a healthy lifestyle. By increasing your metabolism, you can have a more natural way of burning up food that you eat. Thus, you do not have to worry when you pig out on food. Your metabolism will do the work for you.
5. Give your body more energy than what you already have to help you do more things and feel much better.
6. Make yourself feel younger. When you feel old, it means your body is tired and is nor in good shape. On the other hand, if you feel younger, you have more energy and your body is in good shape. The more you feel young, the more you can withhold the aging process from affecting your body.

7. Keep a fabulous body without having to spend your entire life in the gym. If you can just tone those muscles after you lose some body fat, then you can never go wrong.
8. Burn more calories than what you intake. If you can burn around ninety thousand calories a year, then a 250 calories intake everyday will not have to bother you at all. Thus, lose weight without starving!

Corporate Health and Wellness Programs Reward Employees and Companies

Corporate health and wellness programs must be promulgated to most companies. These health programs enhance employee’s productivity, stabilize their health conditions, and lessen their absenteeism. However, the company can also save money because of this. Both companies and employees are benefiting with these employee health and wellness programs.

These corporate health programs push the employees to visit the doctor. The complete physical checkup must have the following information: cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and general health. The employees can learn how to fight obesity, alcoholism, smoking and drug abuse in the company’s fitness program.

The companies should hire a wellness instructor to teach the employees on how to have a healthy lifestyle. They should also reward the employees for involving in the corporate wellness programs. They may give healthy rewards like private training session with the wellness instructor, free massage, or health food gift certificate.

A successful employee health and wellness programs begin with its company leaders. Company owners must be better examples, participating in this health program and work closely with the wellness instructor. The company should also recognize employee health and wellness leaders to their newsletters, on the company website a posted bulletins.

The companies instituting corporate health programs are also getting benefits. The budget of the company for about $100-$150 per employee each year to take part in the wellness program can save $300 to $450 of the company for each employee every year. The saved money can take a few years to actualize, and they are visible in the reduced health expenses.

Another thing, a $24 can return for every $1 used on the corporate health and wellness sessions of small businesses, according to America’s Wellness Councils. Moreover, those companies practicing this health programs are getting 30 percent cutback in the absenteeism and medical expenses in less than four years, reported in 2005 survey by The Art of Health Promotion.

Therefore, business owners must institute these corporate health and wellness programs to maximize employee inclusion. Take Johnson and Johnson’s approach. Johnson and Johnson is giving employees a $500 discount on medical insurance expenditure if they finished the health risk profile, taking with only 26 percent of employees participation.

The Importance of Health and Wellness

The importance of health and wellness has certainly come to the forefront of the health industry in the last decade. With the baby boomer generation nearing or entering their senior years, strained health and medical services, and the realization by greater numbers of people of the limitations of medical science, society has developed an increasingly prominent attitude of responsibility towards one’s own health and wellness.

No longer are people solely relying on doctors or hospitals to make them better if they get sick. Instead, the approach has changed to one of illness prevention, to maintain or improve the state of health that already exists. The incredible boom in the health industry overall bears witness to these trends.

The importance of health and wellness is reflected by the fact that diets, weight loss programs, exercise programs and equipment, fitness facilities, spas, nutritional supplements and activity/leisure groups of all sorts are now commonplace in our everyday lives. Some of these changes are driven by the extreme demands and long waits for treatment in the health care system, but also by the desire of the working generation for a more active lifestyle after retirement, with the hope of being fit and well enough to participate in their chosen activities. For these goals to manifest into reality the base of good health must be built up throughout life, not just to try to repair the damage after it’s been done.

So it has become clear why the health industry has turned in its present direction. Only by placing the importance of health and wellness as a priority now can anyone make the most of their future.