Today’s mindset recognizes that good health is a result of not only quality medical care, but also taking steps to prevent disease and other health conditions. Workplaces are leading this shift by creating a culture of wellness that helps employees create healthy habits and stick with them over time. But to truly see attitudes and behaviors change, companies need to do more than talk – they need to walk the walk.
Through workplace wellness programs, employees improve their health and workplaces end up with happier, more productive employees. It’s simply not enough for a business to just say wellness is important. It’s about making changes from top to bottom. Often this starts with senior leadership and having those at the top demonstrate healthy habits.
If a company has a goal of helping employees become more active, it might offer standing desks and hold standing or walking meetings, or avoid catering unhealthy foods at meetings and events. These are small ways to make being active and healthy part of the everyday routine.
At the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network, I’ve seen firsthand how creating a culture of wellness produces positive change. One example is when my coworker Christopher joined our department. He was a longtime pack-a-day cigarette smoker and was physically inactive. Being surrounded by all of us in his new work environment helped him slowly make changes. Six months into his employment, he sat down with me and said he was 30-days smoke free and had started exercising. He’s now running three miles every day.
When a company embraces wellness, everyone in the workplace benefits. When you’re surrounded with people who prioritize wellness, it can’t help but impact you and lead to positive lifestyle changes and better long-term health.