Those working in the corporate world know exactly how much sitting and staring at a computer screen is involved, and the data can be a bit unsettling. About six in 10 employees spend nearly nine hours per day sitting at work, which can contribute to a decreased metabolic rate, disrupted blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure and more.
U.S. News & World Report notes that every hour that’s spent sitting increases the risk for metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. So it’s no surprise that employees and their employers are starting to take note of just how important it is to promote health in the workplace.
Workplace wellness programs haven’t always been a common benefit offered by employers — more like a “nice to have” perk. But now, that’s changing. Most employers had wellness programs of some kind in place in 2020, with 53% of small firms and 81% of large companies offering wellness programs, according to the Washington Post.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all corporate wellness program, and each can look very different. Here are a few examples of what wellness programs could entail:
Well, the benefits are hard to ignore. Whether you’re an employer on the fence about offering a corporate wellness program to your employees, or you’re an employee hoping to convince upper management to put a wellness program in place, this list of benefits should help.
Sitting all day at work staring at a computer screen could mean back pain, eye strain, headaches, compromised posture and more — all issues that can cause poor productivity, otherwise known as presenteeism. One study revealed that employees who participated in a wellness program improved productivity an average of one full workday per month. Another study reported that employees who did not exercise were 50% more likely to have lower productivity than those employees who followed a regular exercise regimen.
Some employers may be wary of creating a wellness program for employees due to the costs associated with putting one in place. However, healthier employees can translate to fewer healthcare-related expenses.
According to Johnson & Johnson, the creation of wellness programs for their employees have saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the last 10 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported that workplace health programs can produce 25% savings on absenteeism, healthcare costs and workers’ compensation.
Wellness programs that are focused on helping employees learn healthy eating and exercise behaviors can assist in lowering health risks. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, for every 1% drop in total cholesterol, the risk of a heart attack drops by 2 to 3%. Regular physical activity also plays a role in helping reduce health risks ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure, and helps strengthen bones, muscles and joints.
Offering a corporate wellness program can often boost employee morale because it shows employers actually care about the health and wellbeing of their employees. Employees who feel valued and appreciated contribute to an overall higher morale level among the staff, and help build trust and commitment. This could also have a direct impact on lowering turnover levels, which can often be a high expense for employers.
Presenting the opportunity for employees to bond over an activity other than work can strengthen relationships and help improve teamwork. This is especially important for those employees who may be working primarily from home, and have no opportunities for getting to know their coworkers outside of a Zoom meeting.
A corporate wellness program that gives employees a chance to create connections through things like yoga, running, high intensity interval training or mobility can help contribute to a more positive workplace environment.
While there are many physical benefits that come with exercise, there are just as many psychological benefits as well. A corporate wellness program that encourages physical activity could potentially ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, in addition to decreasing stress, increasing self-esteem and contributing to better sleep.
Looking to implement a wellness program within your organization? CrossTown Fitness (CTF) offers corporate wellness programs that can be customized to support all fitness levels and needs. Choose to do a workout together at any of CrossTown’s three Chicago locations, head to North Avenue beach for a workout and some stand-up paddleboarding, or we can come to you!
In addition to offering high-intensity interval classes, CrossTown provides programming for a variety of team building activities to help strengthen your organization both physically and mentally.
Packages and perks for corporate wellness programs at CTF include:
Looking for a corporate wellness program you can implement or recommend to your boss? Contact us to get started!