We've moved way beyond the days when our employer could care less if we are overweight, a smoker or on the verge of burnout. Today, our health is our employer's business -- particularly if they provide us health insurance. Worksite wellness is not only about cost savings. Healthy workers are more productive, creative, innovative and engaged.
Employers like Cleveland Clinic have figured that out. The hospital has gotten creative, video streaming employee testimonials about weight loss to co-workers as a way of encouragement. For example, a recent video highlighted Sandy Donohue in Cleveland who participated in a healthy choice challenge. She weighed close to 240 pounds when she began. She lost 100 pounds and at 60 years old says she feels stronger, healthier and more centered than she did at 40. Dr. Cosgrove, CEO recognized Sandy publicly in the company wide broadcast that is shown to over 43,000 employees and presented her with a gym bag with exercise gear
I think we will see more of these types of creative approaches that incorporate technology and worksite wellness.
Most businesses launch into wellness by requiring a health assessment or biometric screening. Of course, there's some concern that once your employer assesses your health, the findings will be used to penalize you if you're not the picture of health they thought you were. I expect to see that topic debated a lot more in the future.
Meanwhile, because we're spending so much time in the workplace, we're discovering our co-workers have a huge influence on our health habits. A recent survey revealed that co-workers can make each other fat. AWSJ story says some 29% of people on diets say colleagues pressure them to eat more, make fun of their diets or order them restaurant food they know isn't on their diets.
That's where office culture plays a role. Below is my Miami Herald article on wellness, corporate efforts to change their culture, and the new struggle to get employees to participate in programs. Let me know your thoughts on whether you think employers are headed in the right direction with wellness or whether they're going about it the wrong way.