Congratulations! You've resolved to get healthy in the new year – and you're not alone. According to
Nielsen.com, getting fit and healthy is the most popular new year's resolution, followed by enjoying life and spending less.
The internet is packed with healthy resolution ideas that can help reboot your life. But if you don't stick with them (and most people don't), by February that expensive gym membership will be gathering dust.
One way to keep motivated all year is to participate in your employee health and wellness program. Surrounding employees with a health-oriented culture for about 40 hours a week is bound to pay off in healthy dividends for both the employee and the employer.
Employers: Does Your Wellness Program Need a Facelift?
With employee participation, wellness programs can mean lower healthcare costs, higher productivity and reduced absenteeism. Most larger companies today have some form of wellness program for employees. But if it's been a while since a program was implemented, it may need a facelift.
You don't need to have an on-site fitness center, but
elements of successful program should include:
Trends in wellness also are leaning toward flexible work schedules and work-from-home policies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this
comprehensive guide to workplace health programs.
Employees: Choose What Works
It's never too late to form healthy habits, but if you've been a couch potato for years, don't start by running a marathon. Making smaller adjustments and celebrating accomplishments will help you stay on track. Choose what works for you from your employee wellness program, and be sure to bring healthy principles home:
Sleep more; our 24/7 workforce is wreaking havoc on our natural sleep patterns
- Eat better: more whole foods and
fewer processed foods, cut back on sugar, drink more water and cook at home
- Move more and track your steps; you'll be surprised at how fun it is to challenge yourself to improve your step count
- Make regular doctor appointments
- Take up a hobby
- Keep stress under control
Deterioration of the Workforce is a Global Trend
According to the
American Heart Association, more than 85 million Americans have cardiovascular disease.
Todd Hohn, global workplace health and safety director at UL, discussed chronic health conditions at the 2016 NSC Congress & Expo:
- Conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes can raise the likelihood of a workplace injury
- Cost of workplace injuries increases greatly – and proportionately – if the employee has one or more chronic health conditions
- 50% of workers have at least one chronic health condition; of those, 50% have two or more
- According to the National Center for Compensation Insurance, reports of chronic illness have increased three-fold over the last decade
- It's not just a problem for older workers; many young workers already have these conditions
- Chronic illness costs businesses $650 billion to $750 billion a year
Workplace wellness programs can improve health for workers. And while the topics of health and safety are typically siloed in organizations, they should go hand in hand, Hohn said. People in the safety field can and should speak to health and wellness for employees. It's a natural fit, he said.
Bring Safety Home
The current issue of
Family Safety & Health is packed with information about health and wellness, including an article on lifestyle management for people with diabetes.
Did you know about 84 million Americans have pre-diabetes, and 90% of them don't even know it? Pre-diabetes means higher than normal blood-sugar levels that are not yet in the Type 2 diabetes range. A few facts:
- 95% of all diabetes diagnoses are Type 2, adult onset, although children are increasingly diagnosed as a result of childhood obesity
- Type 1 diabetes is totally different; typically diagnosed in children and caused by an autoimmune reaction, there is no known way to prevent it
- Diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes often can help delay or reverse pre-diabetes and even Type 2 diabetes
This one-minute screening gauges your likelihood of developing diabetes
For more health and wellness information, including overcoming fear of going to the dentist, preventing addiction and shaking the salt habit,
get a free sample copy of Family Safety & Health, or call (800) 621-7619 to subscribe.
Safety Talk and Checklist
How are you treating your body?
This 5-minute Safety Talk offers some simple tips on improving your energy level with sleep, water and exercise.
It's never too late to form healthy habits. Every day we're faced with decisions that are crucial to our health.
This checklist can help you make the right decision.
2-Minute Safety Video
Start your next meeting with this
two-minute video on employee wellness and get the conversation started.