Did you know that the month of May is universally observed as Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM)? Health and fitness are considered crucial elements of employee health which in return boosts company growth. The goal of GEHFM is to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through health promotion activities at the workplace. We will cover different aspects of employee wellness throughout the month to align with this profound global initiative.
GEHFM was started in May 1989, and ever since significant strides have been made to establish a healthy workforce worldwide. It is laudable that this initiative is observed for a month, from May 1 through to May 31 each year. The month-long initiative makes perfect sense because the extended timeframe will potentially warrant greater sustainability for wellness in the workplace. Wellness is the ability of people and communities to reach their fullest potential, both in terms of health and fulfillment of purpose. Reformed employers recognise that a healthy workforce ensures maximum profit as well as improved organisational productivity and employee morale. Henceforth it is crucial that employers and employees work in tandem to instill a culture of health and wellness in the workplace.
But exactly why is wellness considered an important driver for a healthy workforce? Research shows that more than 60 percent of employees are burned out on the job, or suffer from constant fatigue, sleeplessness, aches and pains, high anxiety and weight gain. However, when employees eat healthy foods, they are 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance, and when employees exercise three times a week for at least 30 minutes, they are 15 percent more likely to have a higher job performance. The same study found that when workers exercise and eat healthy foods, absenteeism was 27 percent lower, and the performance of healthy employees was 11 percent higher than their overweight peers.
Healthy employees are happier, have more energy, are more productive and engaged and are less stressed. In return, the boss is happy too, because organisations with healthy and happy workers experience less absenteeism and have higher employee performance, and of course it makes the business bloom. Sounds like an excellent win-win situation!
But forthrightly, introducing new health initiatives into company culture can be tricky and may require proactive and innovative thinking. By and large it involves a CEO that amplifies the concept of wellness, alongside a wellness officer who understands the value of getting physical. The following tips may give you a head start or add value to your existing health and wellness programme:
Get them moving! Encourage employees to take the stairs, or even use the restrooms on another floor;
Bring in a healthcare consultant to talk about healthy living, a chef to demonstrate preparing healthy meals;
Provide employees with a branded water bottle to use for exercising and hikes;
Stock your cafeteria with healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, whole wheat sandwiches, etc;
Add a juicer or smoothie machine to your staff room;
Perform on-site stress tests and health screenings;
Invite an expert to help you design a smoking cessation programme.
Remember, employee health and fitness shouldn’t just be a priority in May. It’s an important initiative that you should promote all year round. It’s time to make healthy the “norm” in Namibia. In so doing, we will achieve the optimum result of a more physically active, healthier population; one healthy moment and one healthy group at a time. Help your employees to embrace and love their bodies; it is the most amazing thing they will ever own.
*Karin Husselmann is the CEO and founder of B-Healthi Coaching and Training CC. She writes on public health and lifestyle issues, offers support with smoking cessation and assists corporate clients with team-building and the general health and wellness of their employees. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
2019-05-06 09:01:17 2 months ago