Workplace Wellness Lowers Healthcare Costs, Boosts Productivity
03.21.17 · Sonia Greteman
Pardon me while I jump on my wellness soapbox. Our agency just celebrated 10 years of working with the Wichita YMCA’s corporate wellness team, and it’s making a difference. Our pocketbooks certainly feel more fit. Our health insurance premiums just went down 15%, which is almost unheard of. That makes us want to kick up our heels.
Our team members appreciate the lower insurance premiums, and I have to think they feel good about seeing overall improvements in their health. Collectively, we ranked 78 out of a possible 100 points, which gets us a doing-well designation. Two more points and we’d be in the excellent category. You now know one of my goals for next year.
Why Do I Care So Much About Wellness?
I haven’t always. People who know me might be surprised that early in my career I worked all hours and consumed whatever was at hand – usually pop, chips, candy bars or something equally packed with sugar, caffeine and empty calories.
I wised up. And I liked how I felt once I started taking better care of myself. As a business owner for 28 years, I’ve seen how careers and lives can be wrecked by chronic illness, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and more.
- Eat healthy.
- Don’t smoke.
- Walk 30 minutes a day.
- Only drink alcohol in moderation.
- Keep waist less than half your height.
So why are people resistant to change that can so clearly be beneficial? In this information-packed age, it can’t just be a lack of knowledge. We like our routines, our habits. Exerting control and discipline, well, that’s tough. But it goes beyond that. Especially in a creative agency full of rebel types, no one wants to be told what to do. Support, yes. Groupthink, no.
- Meditation Mondays 10-minute afternoon mindfulness break
- Tryday Fridays twice a month showcasing different healthy foods and activities
And we’re making subtle little changes, too. Some less-than-healthy treats have snuck into our Snack Attack bar. We’re resolving to do better by stocking its shelves with snacks high on yum and low on junk. We have a pocket park nearby and whenever possible, we’re encouraging team members to take their meetings outside and on the go. I think better when I’m moving and bet you do, too. Walk and talk, baby. And breathe deep. It feels good.