Rebecca Perkins, Healthier Somerset
May 29, 2017
If you’re reading this column at home before going to work, or if you’re already on the job, your health may not be your primary focus in the day ahead, but what happens in your workplace can have a huge impact on your health.
June is National Employee Wellness Month, which was created to highlight the benefits to employers and employees when companies create a culture of health.
Successful employee health programs offer a variety of options that are tailored to their employees’ needs and lifestyles. Employers who embrace the concept understand that wellness programs can reduce employee sick days, increase productivity, and ultimately lower long-term healthcare costs. Employees experience all the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, including reduced stress and anxiety.
Many employee wellness programs are designed and run by one or two individuals in an office who take the initiative to get things moving. Initial steps may include adding healthy vending machine choices in the snack room, installing bike racks for employees who wish to bike to work, and forming walking groups at lunch. Employers may provide financial incentives, including gym memberships, extra vacation days, and reduced insurance co-pays.
Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to promote good health at work:
- Host a potluck lunch with healthy dishes and exchange the recipes
- Celebrate birthdays with non-food events, or, if you don’t want to give up all the fun, designate one day each month to bring in the donuts or cake.
- Create a health and wellness area to post flyers of upcoming events and share books and dvd’s on health
- Everybody likes a competition — create a challenge for most steps walked in a week, most pounds lost in a month, most hours working out, etc.
Healthier Somerset’s Worksite Wellness Committee will celebrate Employee Wellness Month with the second Healthy Workplace Recognition Awards breakfast on Tuesday, June 6, at Raritan Valley Country Club. The awards recognize employers who demonstrate their commitment to a healthier worksite by implementing worksite wellness programs that improve the health and well-being of their employees. Recipients earn a bronze, silver, or gold designation in the small, medium, and large company category based on the length of their program and the number of activities provided.
Sixteen Somerset County employers will be recognized at the breakfast, and Hans Jurgen Jung, VP, head of Nestlé product Development Center, Nestlé Health Science, will present keynote remarks. Nestlé Health Science, a business that develops nutrition-based therapies, recently completed its move to an 80,000-square-foot R&D facility at the Center of Excellence campus on Route 202/206 in Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Online registration for the breakfast is available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/healthier-somersets-healthy-workplace-awards-breakfast-tickets-25573280370. Breakfast sponsors are Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset (Awards Sponsor) and Somerset County Business Partnership (Silver).