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With only a measly 2.7% of the American population living an actual healthy lifestyle*, employers are changing the way they look at wellness. They are beginning to take a preventative approach and are offering employees more innovative programs to help keep them healthy. Here are some important wellness trends in the workplace that we will see more of this year:
Employee wellness programs have come a long way since simply a focus on weight loss or smoking cessation. Programs have expanded to include every aspect of health and well-being. This includes personal development, such as career-specific efforts within organizations. We see this in the form of learning and development classes, more employee recognition and workplace area design.
As we know, wellness is not a “one size fits all” solution. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee may not have the same importance to the next employee. Employers are turning to personalized digital solutions to host their wellness programs. Digital platforms can help give employers several different types of data about their employee health demographics, from individual wellness goals to interests and preferences. The technology can also provide wellness tips and support and individual rewards, resulting in greater employee participation.
Workplace wellness does not need to be complicated. Let’s put it this way, if it is too complex and hard to understand, employees will not participate. More employers are using simple wellness tasks and activities to engage employees. Keeping it simple is the name of the game!
With a very high percentage of workers that experience symptoms of poor mental health, it’s no wonder why employers are stepping up the education around this topic. Consider offering “mental health days” where employees can ask questions and learn about the resources available to them, such as coverage available to them through their health plan.
Employers are investing in “Healthy Vending Machines” that provide nutritious snacks and drinks, holding monthly salad bar lunches, and even keeping a supply of healthy snacks stocked in the break room. Employees are more likely to make healthy food choices when the food is readily available to them in the workplace kitchen or break room.
Forbes Magazine, “8 Trends that will impact worksite wellness in 2018”, by Alan Kohll
Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet, “5 Insanely Depressing American Health Statistics”, by Sam Becker
*Oregon State University, “U.S adults get a failing grade in healthy lifestyle behavior”, by David Stauth
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