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Creating A Supportive Environment For Worksite Wellness Programs

Is it really September already? That means back to school for the kids and back to a structured routine for the adults. Structure is not a bad thing. It’s something we can count on, and when it comes to Worksite Wellness programs, a supportive environment is just the “structure” we need to help make those programs successful. In this month’s introduction, the Wellness Councils of America’s (WELCOA) sixth element to a successful worksite wellness initiative focuses on just that—creating a supportive environment.

Let’s say an organization is going to embrace a change and encourage their employees to adopt healthier eating habits. It only makes sense to design the work environment to support that change by offering healthy choices in the vending machines, offering healthy choices at company sponsored events, and monitoring what’s allowed to be brought in from outside sources, etc. You know what I’m talking about—leftover birthday cake from home, leftover Halloween candy, and should I even mention all the goodies from the holiday season?

In that same vein, if a company is promoting the benefits of being physically active throughout the day, it only makes sense to encourage a variety of initiatives to make getting active possible. Some of these initiatives might include using stairs that are well-lit and safe for employees to use, offering employees an opportunity to walk outside in a safe, clearly-marked area during their allowed breaks, offering gym reimbursements, or hosting a friendly walking competition.

Given these examples, I’m sure you get the gist. The environments in which we work all day long can have a huge impact on our behaviors. If structured by design and not default, those environments can truly help employees adopt healthier behaviors and over time, help maintain those good habits.

Don’t know where to start? Try doing a wellness culture audit and an employee survey to uncover areas of interest and immediate need. Start today and create the high performing culture that will benefit your organization and your employees!

Nutrition Tip: Storing broccoli wrapped in a plastic bag with tiny pin pricks in it will give you up to 125% more antioxidants than if you had stored the broccoli loosely wrapped or in a tightly sealed bag. Source: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.

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