Even though it isn’t all that fun to think about it, we can’t escape the reality that most of us will spend a large proportion of our adult life at work. I’ll give you a second to let that sink in…
OK, now that we’ve come to terms with this fact, let’s look at the bright side. Because we spend so much of our lives in our workplaces, they are uniquely positioned to be a significant factor in our health and the health of our nation.
One model that has been continually gaining support is the creation of wellness committees to guide worksite health promotion. These committees advocate for healthier food options in the company cafeteria, set up discounted gym memberships for employees, offer workshops on stress reduction and much more. They work to ensure that the workplace helps workers become healthier, rather than serves as a barrier.
As we think about health reform and the role that public health must play if we are truly going to improve health, workplace health promotion needs to be a part of the solution. Whether it involves incorporating prevention and wellness activities into workplace culture, opening up stairwells and making them more pleasant so people will use the stairs more, or insurers lowering premiums for organizations who implement worksite wellness policies, workplace health has to be a part of a holistic approach to health in this nation.
Share your worksite wellness ideas. What has your workplace done to support the health of its employees?