Physical Activity in the Workplace
The essence of a company wellness program is to encourage employees to adopt healthier lifestyles and to take measures aimed at preventing the worsening or onset of illnesses. Studies demonstrate that employees who are medically high-risk result in greater expense to the company as they generate claim costs that are higher and utilize more health care.
Employee wellness programs are essential to the long-term viability of all businesses. They have become popular among some top workplaces in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. With rising health-care costs, even some financially healthy companies are shifting costs to employees, cutting premium contributions or raising the deductibles that employees have to pay at the doctor’s office.
Motley Fool, a midsize investment services and advisory firm based in Alexandria, recently started holding what it calls “active meetings” in which employees are encouraged to exercise in the middle of business meetings. Regardless of whether anyone else finds it distracting, employees will randomly get down on the floor and do push-ups in the middle of a meeting, or the boss might order everyone to get into a sitting position against the wall, to strengthen their legs.
Some companies are implementing comprehensive wellness programs that focus on preventive health and lifestyle modification. These programs consist of activities such as health education and coaching, weight management programs, medical screenings, on-site fitness programs, and more. Companies are making an investment in wellness programs because they intuitively feel it’s a good idea. This is a new concept for many companies and a great bonus for competitive applicants that are looking for the right company to work for. Imagine a company that actually cares about their employees eating healthy, making smart snacking choices and stretching during meetings!