Should Your Workplace be the Answer to Your Health

It has long been excepted that most of our waking lives are spent in the workplace. With the current trends in disease, disability and depression it stands to reason that the workplace is the ideal setting to implement physical activity interventions. It can also be said, that the workplace is a communication hub that not only supports a company’s product/service but can also lay the foundations in developing social structures and support networks.

There is strong research to suggest that group based rewards, participatory employee wellness teams and physical fitness programs implemented in the workplace has a significate positive impact on unscheduled absenteeism and injury and illness in the workplace. This results in increased moral, increased productivity and lower operating costs.

Another notable effect in workplace health programs is its impact on the social environment.  A recent longitudinal study found a significant negative correlation between workplace health programs and marriage longevity, including increased life expectancy and mobility.

There are many different approaches to implementing a work based health strategy. A Meta-analysis conducted by Dishman et al and reinforced by the AMA, found a multi-level approach that addresses the individual and environmental strategies had the best outcomes (Nutrition, Worksite activity sessions, tracking data, group sessions, home and social based activities etc.…)

It has also been suggested that this approach should also include workplace (humanistic) assessments. These assessments are popular because they show how an individual or group interacts in their working environment and includes strategies that can optimize their performance and safeguard them from harm.

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