According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is on the rise and with it comes health risks specific to the job. For desk workers, a sedentary lifestyle raises the risk of death by 50% and the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, chest pain, or suffering a heart attack is increased by a whopping 125%. Mentally and physically demanding jobs like construction, nursing, and public service positions like police and fire fighters will each have their own set of challenges employers must anticipate and help combat. Preventing illness positively impacts an employee’s overall health, which means fewer missed days of work and benefits the employer by reducing health care costs.
If you want your team to make changes, emphasize role modeling for employees in a leadership position. If team members are asked to use the stairs and not the elevator, everyone should follow suit. Management could encourage participation by agreeing to do something entertaining or funny if employers achieve a goal.
It’s easy to sabotage good eating habits by offering vending machines loaded with junk food or a cafeteria that serves fried meals. Fill vending machines with healthy options like fruit, yogurt and healthy sandwiches and offer a salad bar and calorie-conscious toppings.
Of course exercise and activity is a key part of staying healthy and employers have lots of options. Some larger companies have started on-site gyms and others spur fitness or walking contests employees can do during their lunch break. If you don’t have the staff or the resources for those ventures, consider teaming with a local gym to offer employees a discount on memberships.
Larger companies may have a nurse on site who can do blood pressure screenings, weight checks and other basic assessments. If your company is too small, consider asking your local health department to drop by. Companies who might be interested in offering genetic screening services can team up with companies like Pathway Genomics to allow employees to identify their individual risk factors for chronic illness and hereditary diseas. Patients who are aware of their risk factors can work with their healthcare team to change lifestyle habits and prevent illness in the future—costing the company much less and boosting the employee’s quality of life.
It may be slightly more expensive up front, but offering full insurance coverage for cessation and addiction programs will help in the long run. Smoking cessation medications and programs to support quitting should be included along with access to rehabilitation services for drug and alcohol addiction, and nutrition services and counseling. This improves access and encourages use by employees to reduce unhealthy habits.
Supporting the physical and emotional health of employees isn’t a trend but common theme that more and more employers are joining. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is still true today, and by supporting the needs of employees from head to toe, employers can gain increased productivity and a more solid bottom line.
“Having ongoing training is essential for our team and our business. It’s important to look after the people that look after others. Kylie has the experience, professionalism and knowledge to engage with our team and help them understand about human behaviour and why people do what they do. In the wellness and health industry it’s a different sales and service delivery and it’s imperative to keep on top of these understandings to perform at our best to help others. We couldn’t recommend Kylie high enough.”
I have worked with Kylie over many years. She has helped me as a Business Mindset Coach, as a motivational speaker for clients when I had my gyms with Vision and more recently at Flow Athletic. I bring her in to train my Personal Training teams in mindset, communication and how to coach our clients better and excel in our own personal mastery.
I highly recommend her work.