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Staying healthy and well is important. It improves our mood, allows us to be more productive, and allows us to live longer. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 40% of Americans are obese, meaning they have more body fat than they should for their height. Finding time and inspiration to eat healthily and exercise is a challenge for many people. We frequently don’t make the effort to take care of our health and wellness after working for eight hours and balancing all of the additional duties that come with being an adult.

Many organizations now provide wellness programs to employees to assist combat this and address other health concerns. If you’re looking for a new job or considering a career change, it’s a good idea to inquire about the health benefits that your future company may provide. According to the Aflac Work Forces Report, half of the 2,000 company decision-makers polled stated their organizations fund workplace wellness initiatives, compared to only 30% in 2012.

Health & Wellness Programs

Overall, businesses are providing more options for employees, since research has shown that wellness programs not only boost employee retention, but also minimize sick time and increase productivity. Here are a few examples of different employers’ health and wellness programs:

ON-SITE FITNESS CENTERS

While not every firm can afford a 10,000-square-foot fitness center for all of its employees, major corporations such as Nike, Google, Microsoft, and Unilever can. Employees at General Mills, for example, have access to an on-campus fitness center where they may take classes, exercise, and even participate in business sports teams. While smaller businesses may not have an on-site fitness center, many develop partnerships with surrounding leisure centers or gyms, offering employee discounts or reduced membership fees in exchange for attending classes.

WELLNESS CHALLENGES

Workplace challenges, such as Fitbit-tracked walking competitions or weight-loss challenges among coworkers or teams, are another trend that isn’t prohibitively expensive. The challenge stimulates employees to join by tracking their progress and often rewarding them with a health-related prize.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

Taking care of one’s body as well as one’s mind is what health and well-being entails. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) offer discreet counseling for concerns such as work or financial stress, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Employers benefit from these initiatives as well because happier employees make for a more productive workforce. While smaller businesses may not provide an EAP owing to financial constraints, a 2015 survey found that 77 percent of larger businesses do.

SMOKING CESSATION

It’s no secret that employees who smoke cigarettes pay their businesses more money on average than non-smokers owing to health difficulties. Some businesses have discovered that it is in their best interests to provide smoking cessation programs to its employees. For example, the Union Pacific Railroad Company offers a smoking cessation program that includes both lifestyle coaching and medication help.

MASSAGES

According to studies, stress is responsible for more than half of all lost work days. A weekly chair massage of 15 minutes has been clinically proved to alleviate stress, muscle tension, and rejuvenate the body. Both Google and NASA provide massage therapy to its employees while they are at work.

LUNCH & HEALTH SNACKS

With only 30 minutes to an hour for lunch, some employees believe they have no choice but to eat fast food. However, some companies are now attempting to make eating healthier much easier by providing healthier options at company meetings, parties, and events, as well as in office cafeterias and vending machines.

Personal Mindfulness

Even if your employer doesn’t have formal programs, there are always ways to keep your health in mind throughout the day. Start a walking club with coworkers and take a quick stroll outside for 10-15 minutes during your lunch hour. Developing a walking regimen has been demonstrated to aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight and the prevention of a variety of illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. The fresh air will help you feel more energized and avoid the afternoon slump.

There are solutions to assist you in exercising if you can’t get away from your job but still want to. Workers can burn calories while sitting by using an under-desk elliptical machine. This could be an excellent alternative if you’re a good multi-tasker and can pump your legs and type at the same time. Remember to drink plenty of water, stand up and stretch frequently, and stock your snack drawer with healthy options to reduce your chances of eating anything heavy in fat or sugar.

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