How many hours do you spend at work? For most of us the answer is 40 plus hours a week. Add in commute time and preparation for work and it ends up taking up a major portion of our lives.
Time outside of work may be spent raising families, doing community work, maintaining friendships, or taking care of elderly parents. It leaves precious little time to take care of ourselves and our health.
We all know that we need to eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, take care of our spiritual and emotional health, and finances in order to be our best self. In reality, it’s not easy to accomplish all of these tasks.
Health is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity but a positive state of complete physical, mental and social well-being (World Health Organization, 1986). A healthy working environment is one in which there is not only an absence of harmful conditions but also an abundance of health-promoting ones.
To encourage holistic health, many workplaces are supporting employees by adopting wellness programs. Are you taking advantage of this benefit at your place of work?
Below are some statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services about adults in the U.S. today:
• Less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Only one in three adults receives the recommended amount of physical activity each week.
• More than 80 percent of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
• Projections estimate that by 2018, obesity will cost the U.S. 21 percent of our total healthcare costs – $344 billion annually.
Wellness programs at work offer information and education on nutrition, physical fitness, biometric screening and tools to track individual progress toward goals. In addition there may be financial rewards such as health insurance premiums savings on health plans, rewards or prizes.
Participating in your wellness program at work can provide big returns to you, your family, and your place of employment by giving you the gift of better health for productivity at work and the chance to live your best life. Are you making the most of this benefit?