“Sedentary people are apt to have sluggish minds. A sluggish mind is apt to be reflected in flabbiness of body and in a dullness of expression that invites no interest and gets none.”
~Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
While Mrs. Kennedy’s statements are gloomy, the scarier part is that they might be applicable today. Americans do an awful lot of sitting — while commuting, at the office, in front of the television. Besides that, there are many other sedentary practices that we have because life is busy and taking care of ourselves is hard 😦 Thankfully, companies have a responsibility and a privilege of creating corporate wellness programs for employees to take better care of their health, along with other perks. Let’s talk about why every company should have workplace wellness programs in play.
First, the science and the business logic.
According to numerous studies, a sedentary lifestyle (like that of many office workers) is not only bad for one’s health, but also bad for the company they work for. A sedentary individual is probably going to cost the company much more money – a sum of various health insurances and absenteeism. In particular, absenteeism will cost a company a lot directly through being paid sick leave, and indirectly through not being able to perform work while absent and thus setting the overall company back. While these little costs may seem small, over the course of employment, this amount builds up a lot. A study by Gallup has calculated that for these absentee situations where the employee is sick, an employee with high wellbeing only costs $840 a year, while an employee of low well being costs a whopping $28,800.
On the topic of healthcare, cost for healthcare is rising. While companies can just pass the costs down to their employees to pay more, wouldn’t it be much smarter to act preemptively? If a company has a good workplace wellness program in play, their employees won’t get sick as often and everybody will be winning. Having a strong benefits wellness program is a long term investment that pays off for the company , but that’s not all.
A productive person is a happy person — like in the recent Disney short film “Inner Workings”. You know how when your day starts right, you can tip-tap away at your keyboard much more efficiently than when your day is dreary and you keep checking the clock to see when it’s time to go home? Programs that raise sense of wellness raise moods too.
Of course, corporate wellness is also about being a good company that cares about your people in this tangible way. By creating a space and resources for employees to take care of themselves, you’re helping them personally. It’s hard to have a busy workday and still come home with the motivation or ability to cook a healthy meal or head to the gym. But, it’s much easier to do these things when you provide them at work, where your employee spends so much time anyways.
This is especially true when you consider employee health. So many health problems that are common nowadays — heart disease, obesity, bad posture, low energy and mood levels, diabetes, and various cancers — are preventable through a healthy lifestyle! That means making good choices for wellness day by day, which you can definitely help your employees do by making those choices available to them. And why not make being healthy fun while you’re at it? Your company can plan some outings, order standing desks, or have a culture of wholesome snacking.
Overall, employees with a high sense of well-being are employees that will stay happy, stay hardworking, and stay healthy. Given that, why would you not start a corporate wellness program? (Need tips on how? Check this out.)
Pictures by Lyvly Ambassador: Rebecca P.