The average person spends eight (8) hours or more in the workplace. Occupational hazards and risks are prevalent in a work environment, especially one with prolonged periods of sitting A healthy and productive work environment is a benefit for the employee and the employer. From an early emphasis on safety and injury prevention, the focus for employers is gradually shifting towards fitness and longevity. Some of the risks to the health and well-being of the workforce include: Accidents, Injuries, Musculoskeletal pain and discomfort related to poor ergonomics at the workstation, Weight gain and obesity (a result of sedentary jobs), and Heart and lung related diseases
Workplace wellness programs are driven by the leadership of the company. General guidelines to promote workplace wellness include:
Step 1: Speak with your supervisor, or someone in human resources to request a wellness program.
Step 2: Obtain approval and support of key decision makers.
Step 3: Acknowledge and build on any existing wellness initiatives (if they exist).
Step 4: Conduct a survey among staff members to identify health and wellness preferences
Step 5: Work with qualified professionals to develop a plan.
Step 6: Promote and implement the plan.
Step 7: Implement a monitoring and evaluation tool to assess how the program is working.
Step 8: Analyze the findings of the assessment to modify the program as needed to ensure it remains relevant and engaging.
Physical activity programs for the workplace can include: Group exercise, Competitive sports, and Recreational sports. Individualized fitness prescription may also be utilized consisting of weight loss programs, cardio-respiratory (heart healthy) program, and nutrition and healthy eating plans
A healthy and happy staff member is a valuable asset to any company. Improved well-being leads to higher job satisfaction and improved retention rates. There is a direct correlation between high productivity and a healthy and fit workforce. When designing or adopting a workplace wellness program, invite a physical therapist to be a member of the planning team to ensure that a wellness profile is conducted for all employees.
A physical therapist can indeed help improve health and productivity at work. Ask your management to contact us to discover the benefits of physical therapy. If you are in a management position, we can start with an assessment of the ergonomic environment in your company. Call us today to learn more.
Dr. Dan Skulavick is the physical therapist at Advanced Physical Therapy in the Food Lion shopping center.