Workplace Wellness Programs: Overview
In an era when obesity rates are rising and rates of preventable chronic conditions are on an upswing, the importance of wellness initiatives – such as workplace wellness programs – cannot be overstated. Focusing on wellness presents a shift in thinking away from the traditional model of healthcare as designed to cure you at the onset of illness, to thinking about health in terms of preventing illnesses from occurring.
In the workplace, many employers have instituted wellness programs in an effort to curb the current trend of unhealthy habits and put the brakes on ever-climbing health insurance premiums. Designed to modify employee behavior by promoting healthier habits, workplace wellness programs provide the access, opportunity, support and encouragement needed for workers to actively participate in improving their health.
Healthcare providers, including those in Northeast Ohio, have been at the forefront of the wellness movement as they seek to “practice what they preach.” The federal healthcare reform law contains several key provisions that aim to strengthen the public’s health through workplace wellness programs.