Companies across the United States are taking employee wellness to a whole new level. These days, many companies — with the help of medical insurance providers, local hospitals or other outside organizations – are able to offer wellness incentives to their employees.
The programs are designed to help employees get or stay healthy or assist in wellness initiatives. Wellness committees generally include representatives from multiple departments, regions and levels so that diverse viewpoints and ideas can be included in the programs.
The reasons vary, but one important fact is this: By getting the American population physically active, it reduces overall spending on health care by more than $77 billion. When you include indirect costs, such as work productivity, it could increase savings to more than $150 billion, according to the publication Physician and Sports Medicine.
At our bank, the Susquehanna Wellness Action Team is dedicated to providing resources to employees to help them achieve an active and healthy lifestyle.
Some of the initiatives include healthy recipes, a wellness library where employees can borrow books or videos, health fairs that have been well-received and visited by many, healthy vending options, tobacco cessation initiatives and Walking Works.
Employees can sign up for a walking program that is not only beneficial over time by increasing their steps, mobility and health, but also is an opportunity to compete for prizes. This initiative is assisted by our insurance provider and a committee of dedicated fellow employees who cheer on participants.
Some have had great success and have learned walking is a great form of exercise. Others have become runners and some of those runners have bettered their times. Walking increases your energy, reduces stress and tension and tones your muscles. Every minute of walking extends your life by 1.5 – 2 minutes, according to the Public Health Department in Cambridge, Mass.
Did you know April 5th was National Walk to Work Day? Walking to work would be an enormous task for many, so the Wellness Team here at Susquehanna Bank has designated April 22nd as our Walk at Lunch Day! We hope the success of this Wellness Team Day will become an annual event, leading to other wellness initiatives to benefit the Susquehanna Team.
This blog post was contributed by Donna, a Customer Service Representative in State College, PA.