Promoting Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Promoting Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Here at Sulzer, we see the importance of taking time to get out of the office and breathe in some fresh air. On an average week, our employees sit inside at their desks for an average of 40-50 hours, and by the time the workday is over, it’s hard to stay motivated to get to the gym or exercise. That’s why we have created a culture of health, incorporating meal choices, monthly water deliveries, and opportunities for outdoor activities into our daily work. It seems crazy to not take advantage of the beautiful area we live in, as a way to bond as a team and to promote health in the workplace, whether its in our home town of Montvale, NJ or exploring nearby towns of Ridgewood, West Milford, or Hewitt!

 

Surprise Lake in Hewitt, NJ, the amazing destination of the Bearfort Ridge Surprise Lake Loop Trail.

 

According to healthyworkinglives.com, “Work related stress, depression, and anxiety form the second most common reasons for work related sickness”. However, according to the World Health Organization, at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week can, “reduce short term reactions to stress and enhance recovery from stressors”. An active work force can result in an abundance of benefits, not only to the employee but also to the organization, including:

  • higher productivity
  • improved staff morale
  • lower staff turnover
  • increased levels of job satisfaction
  • improved sense of well-being
  • less illness with a faster recovery period
  • and fewer industrial injuries (World Health Organization)

 

“The workplace directly influences the physical, mental, economic, and social well-being of workers and in turn the health of their families, communities, and society” (World Health Organization). Sulzer highly recognizes this and in return provides opportunities for employees to bond as a team outside of the office, including pick-up soccer games and destination hikes.

 


Sulzer employees are feeling the benefits of these activities, and say that it helps to bond as a team and to get to know more about each other outside of work. The weekly soccer matches give employees a chance to get out their energy in a fun, competitive environment. Anyone from Support Specialists to Developers to Project Managers, even our President shows up for a friendly game every once in a while. The hikes are a great experience too, giving employees the chance to take things slow and enjoy nature, all the while being fit and exploring. And who would miss the chance to hit the beach and go surfing, even if it’s still the cold season of March! Everyone seems to look forward to the next weekend trip or event!

Not to say that promoting health and wellness in the workplace needs persuading, but the statistics of an unhealthy lifestyle are enough to prove it. Just the costs of poor health can add up quickly. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, four of the ten most expensive health conditions for US employers are related to heart disease and stroke. Work related stress is the leading health problem and major occupational risk, productivity losses linked to employees who miss work can cost employers almost $225.8 billion each year, and full time workers who are overweight miss about 450 million more days of work each year.

Hallmark Business Connections highlights some workplace wellness statistics that may surprise you:

  • 50% of the approximately 100 million full time employees in the US are not engaged at work
  • 92% of workers indicate their workplace is more stressful now than it has been in the past 5 years
  • 79% of employees identified as at rick of “job burnout” are also at increased risk of coronary heart disease

 

 

Sulzer also tries to promote health and wellness from inside the company in smaller ways, such as ordering sandwiches for our Summer Friday extended lunches, promoting attendance to local gyms and workout classes after work, or participating in fun sports events such as racquetball, tennis, surfing or more intense Spartan Races. Even on sunny days, we take advantage of the fresh air by holding meetings at our outdoor picnic table. Sulzer employees are constantly looking forward to what activities will come next! Some of our future activities include trips to the beach and weekend camping trips!

 

There are so many ways to encourage health and wellness in the workplace, and to reap all of the benefits. Promoting healthy behaviors, improving employee’s knowledge of health, and providing opportunities for physical activity will show significant improvements to the overall company, and can improve all areas from employee morale to productivity and personal health. Curious to see where else our program takes us? Stay tuned for future posts! : D

 

About the Author

Shannon Marshall administrator