Technology has changed the world in a host of ways, most of which are positive. But one of the biggest negatives with the ever-evolving online world is that it often encourages inactivity. People spend more time sitting at a computer, in front of a screen and less time being active. Companies have increasingly realized that their working practices are also contributing to the problem and for this reason, corporate wellness has become a business priority.
The figures show the issues – 36% of Americans are obese versus 13% in the 1960s. Problems such as diabetes have risen from affecting 2% of the population to now affecting 9% and a number of problems associated with these conditions are also rising such as heart attacks, circulatory problems and stress.
These problems are causing monetary issues for businesses. Missed workdays now cost businesses $225 billion a year, according to figures from the CDC and obesity alone is estimated to account for 450 million workdays lost every year.
Corporate wellness or workplace wellness schemes aren’t a new idea – back in the 1980s, companies began to realize that the overall health of their staff had an impact on the profitability of the business. But in recent times, with the sedentary nature of life due to the advances in technology, the problem grows and corporate awareness of the part that businesses play has also grown.
This has led to companies seeking out expert help to create corporate wellness programs to help their staff and in turn help the business. For example, Exos has developed evidenced-based corporate fitness programs (http://www.teamexos.com/industries/employer/) to drive healthier outcomes while decreasing health-risk factors compared to traditional corporate wellness programs. These programs use the latest in technology and medical science to help businesses institute programs that really have a benefit to staff, not merely for good PR purposes.
The right program
Exos currently works with over 150 corporate clients across 400 locations and 300 countries. Their experience shows that if a business puts a meaningful, effective program in place then results can easily be seen. The program needs to take into account the needs and preferences of staff as if people aren’t engaged, they will simply stop taking part and the program will be ineffective.
The aim of such programs is to shift mindsets in staff and allow them to make meaningful changes, rather than just telling them what they need to do. That’s why companies need to use experts to institute these programs to get the greatest benefits from them, now and in the future.