How Healthy Is Your Worksite?
According to the US Department of Labor, the average work day, and related work activities, lasts for 8 hours. That is a lot of time to spend in an environment that could be potentially unhealthy.
A healthy worksite is established by both employers and employees. Employers can foster a wellness-oriented environment in many ways. Take a few minutes to assess if your employer is doing any of the following:
- Increasing employee morale by meeting employee health and wellness needs.
- Encouraging active participation in wellness programs and services such as educational programs and fitness classes.
- Helping employees understand their health risks.
- Providing programs targeting risky health behaviors.
- Motivating employees to actively incorporate wellness into their lives.
- Sharing the results of program participation with their work force.
If a wellness program is present at your worksite, are you:
- Actively participating in the program(s) offered?
- Speaking with the health and wellness staff to learn more about how you can make healthy lifestyle changes?
- Obtaining your cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose readings during annual health screenings?
- Exercising regularly to increase your strength and cardiovascular endurance?
If a wellness program is not present at your worksite, have you:
- Shared this website with Upper Management and the Human Resources staff?
- Written a brief proposal describing why you think having a wellness program at your worksite would be beneficial?
- Gathered other individuals interested in health and wellness to form a support group?
All of the efforts described above will move you and your worksite towards a greater level of health and wellness. Start now and feel the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle at home and at work.
How to Begin
A number of websites exist which provide worksite wellness information to help you get started. The Wellness Councils of America website contains valuable information on how to create wellness teams, form supportive environments, choose effective interventions, and more, through their 7 Benchmarks of Success. Become familiar with this material and you will develop a solid foundation with which to propose or start developing a worksite wellness program.
Additional web resources to access include:
- National Wellness Institute – Has a wide range of services that promote health and wellness.
- Institute for Health and Productivity Management – Focuses on aspects of employee health that impact work performance.
- HERO – Health Enhancement Research Organization – A national organization focused on employee health management.
Six Dimensional Wellness Model
The Six Dimensional Wellness Model, developed by Dr. Bill Hettler, Cofounder and President of the Board of Directors of the National Wellness Institute, provides an overview of the important dimensions within wellness.
This model represents a holistic approach to creating and maintaining a healthy worksite. Wellness is divided into the following parts:
Within this framework, the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Each dimension impacts the others and cannot be separated from one another. This model can help you determine the dimensions that are important for a wellness program at your worksite.
Talking to Your Employer
Encourage your employer to start a wellness program. Or, become actively involved in any program that is already in place at your worksite. Have your goals and ideas prepared so that you can make an immediate impact. Find out what similar worksites are doing in terms of health and wellness and share that information. Suggest that Upper Management and Human Resources learn more by looking at some of the websites featured in this section. Although many worksites are offering such programs and services, some worksites are not. You could serve as a stimulus for healthy change by sharing this information.
Other NetWellness features about Worksite Health:
- Introduction to Worksite Health
- How Healthy Are You?
- Managing Your Health at Work
- Starting a Wellness Program – For Employees
Hope Through Research – You Can Be Part of the Answer!
Many research studies are underway to help us learn about worksite health. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:
For more information:
Go to the Worksite Health health topic.