Taking a Holistic Approach to Wellness

By Dan Colgan

Wellness is about more than health insurance. With tips on how to take a more holistic approach to corporate wellness, we present an article by Dan Colgan, CEO of Rock Paper Team.

In this day and age, more emphasis is placed on health and wellness than ever before. The rise of “athleisure” fashion trends, the popularity of FitBits, and the abundance of cleanse diets these days have everyone counting steps and calories.

But our commitment to wellness isn’t just about losing weight and avoiding the flu anymore—now we’re also focused on using products that are free of harsh chemicals and gentler on our bodies. In the wake of this shift in public opinion, companies that consider a health insurance policy enough of a step toward corporate wellness are trailing behind.

Providing comprehensive insurance benefits and encouraging employees to get a flu shot are the bare minimum in terms of what companies can offer their employees in terms of health and wellness benefits these days.

The public idea of health has expanded so far beyond simply avoiding illnesses that there’s no limit to what employers can provide to encourage a healthier staff. Today, taking a holistic approach to wellness not only sets employees up for a healthier lifestyle, but it also makes companies look more attractive to potential candidates.

And the benefits to a holistic approach are endless. Countless studies have been done on the positive effects of having healthier employees—research by the Health Enhancement Research Organization shows employees who eat healthy are 25% more likely to have higher job performance, and absenteeism is 27% lower among those workers as well.

In addition, employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, are 15% more likely to have higher job performance, and those who don’t exercise show the highest levels of depression and burnout rates.

When facing statistics like that, it’s easy to see why many companies are offering a more holistic approach to corporate wellness. If you’re looking to offer your employees a bit more in the health department, try implementing any (or all) of these programs, bonuses, and incentives.

Up Your Snack Game

When employees have some healthy snacks within reach in the office, they’re less likely to trek down to the vending machine for a bag of chips. Whether it’s in meetings (ditch the morning doughnuts and opt for fruit and oatmeal instead) or something that becomes a permanent addition to the company break room, you can always provide a few healthier snacking options for your employees.

Fruits, nuts, hummus, and veggies are all great things to keep around for office snacks. If you’re providing lunch for an event, opt for some healthier options. Many city offices can also take advantage of crop share programs with local farms, where they get weekly produce and snacks delivered from nearby farmers and small businesses—so you’re not only making healthy choices, but you are also supporting your community as well!

Create Accountability Groups

Some people are really motivated on their own, and others need a little extra push. Creating accountability groups at the office is a great way to encourage employees to get out and exercise together!

Form a jogging club and sign up for weekly outings and local races, create a group for people who are interested in yoga, hiking, swimming—the opportunities are endless. Encouraging those who are able to walk or bike to work together is another good option.

These exercise groups encourage coworkers to be the best versions of themselves. Not only does exercise help keep employees healthy overall, but it also helps to encourage better moods and attitudes around the office. People who exercise have higher happiness levels, and good moods are priceless in a corporate environment.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, Colgan presents a few more wellness program ideas.