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Wellness Wednesday: 4 Ideas To Improve Your Worksite Wellness Program In 2016

It is that time of the year again. That time when we reflect on the past year and create goals for 2016. Many individuals create resolutions in regard to losing weight, choosing healthier food options, sleeping longer on average, and much more. As the New Year approaches, not only are individuals creating such New Year’s resolutions, but so are local businesses. Though their goals may not be any different than yours, they most likely pertain to being more profitable and successful throughout the new year ahead. There is no better way to have a more profitable and successful year, than having healthy, happy,  and productive employees.

With the New Year approaching, this is the perfect time for small and large businesses to better their worksite wellness programs. Focusing and improving their worksite wellness programs is especially important as employees are spending 40+ hours of their 168 hour week at the worksite. Implementing worksite wellness resolutions will not only help employees be more successful with their personal New Year’s resolutions, but will also allow for greater productivity rates, decreased stress levels, decreased risk of illnesses and injuries, decreased number of absenteeisms, and much more.

Whether you are an employee or the owner of your business, share some of the following worksite wellness resolutions with your fellow coworkers in order to have a more successful year ahead.

4 Ideas To Improve Your Worksite Wellness Program:

Move More:
Many of us are faced with sitting hunched over at a desk for hours at a time. The only thing this is productive for is sore eyes from staring at the screen and upper and lower back pain. This is not a matter of just getting up and moving more, but also a matter of stretching more frequently.
The Solution: Try the 30/60 method by setting an alarm for every 30 minutes and going for a stroll or stretch for 60 seconds.

Nutrition:
Some of the biggest struggles for individuals regarding nutrition is that of meal prepping, take-out options, and what is available to them at the workplace. I hear many stories from clients that their employer provides donuts for breakfast, a variety of desserts await employees from the break room, and pizza is catered for lunch.
The Solution: Teach employees good nutrition habits by having an individual come in and speak with a group during lunch that discuss such topics. Another option is to offer a toolkit, such as handouts or emails, that provide varying tips as to how one can meal-prep and options for healthy local take-out. If the workplace has a vending machine, have an individual in administration speak with the supplier about healthier options. Lastly, instead of offering pizza, desserts, and donuts as food options, offer healthier choices like a fruit or salad bar, or have a local company like Chipotle or Panera Bread cater lunch.

Hydration:
Staying hydrated throughout the day is extremely crucial considering the body is approximately 60% water. This means we need to stay hydrated in order to work more efficiently. Not drinking enough water can lead to one being frequently  tired, irritable, and even dizzy.
The Solution: Invest in a water filtration system for the kitchen or a water dispenser.

Offer Benefits, Programs, and Challenges:
Individuals do not exercise for a variety of reasons. These reasons could be due to a lack of knowledge as to what he or should do, or even the lack of funding in order to invest in a gym or home equipment.
The Solution: Everyone loves a challenge, especially when there are incentives on the line! Offer a program and / or challenge where individuals can learn more about a specific topic such exercise or nutrition. For example, offer a 12-week bodyweight strength training program to see who’s body transforms the greatest by the end of the period. Be sure to set a start date, an end date, and plenty of check-ins in between. Lastly, speak with a local gyms about setting up a discounted rate for employees.

- Joshua Reed is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is the owner of Reed’s Wellness and Fitness Training. He currently operates a small space in Ludlow, Kentucky and travels to see clients in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area. He offers both personal, online, and small group training from his location, the client’s home, and/or outdoors. He is a 2012 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Fitness and Wellness Management. Joshua currently attends the University of Kentucky, where he is earning a Master’s degree in Biomechanics with a concentration in running mechanics and injury prevention. You can reach Joshua via e-mail at [email protected] or on Facebook.

Photo via www.extension.iastate.edu