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worksite wellness

Many adults spend a third of their time (or more) at work. If they don’t work for an organization that embraces a basic wellness philosophy, then no matter how much they pursue wellness on an individual or family level, they can’t achieve their highest potential.

“Worksite wellness” is most often described as a series of non-medical, life quality-enhancing interventions at job sites. These typically include medical testing or risk reduction programs but we don’t feel these go far enough. Our wellness leader, Don Ardell, feels that wellness programs at work should be “explicitly designed to educate, motivate, inform and inspire employees to adopt and sustain healthful behaviors, not give up bad habits.”

Don goes on to provide guidance about what a wellness initiative at work should include:

Besides all the fun, challenging, health-enhancing and evidence-based topics for physical and mental well-being (for example, the nature of happiness and approaches to experiencing more of it), my idea of worksite wellness would address such matters as:

  • Ways to make work more meaningful and valued.
  • How to create an improved sense of community.
  • Ideas for becoming more motivated to be as excellent in selected areas as you can be.
  • Explorations into finding one or more passions to nourish.
  • How to become more involved in decisions that affect you at the workplace.
  • Opportunities for more education, formal and otherwise.
  • Encouragements to take more risks, be more creative and even have more fun while advancing the company mission.
  • Options for flexible work styles and times.
  • Methods for adapting to change, stressful conditions, escalating expectations, ambiguity and uncertainties -- all common in the modern age.
  • How to think more critically and master vital skills in areas of personal dynamics (leadership, communications, conflict resolution, consensus building, etc.).

A worksite wellness initiative worthy of the name would entail new opportunities for everyone to search for ways to contribute to a well workplace environment. The culture would explicitly value learning. Everyone would be encouraged to learn new skills and perspectives, positive mindsets and peer supports that contribute to (but of course can't guarantee) happiness, fulfillment and better health.

The importance of worksite wellness is self-explanatory. Everyone deserves to spend a third of his adult life in an environment that encourages him to be his best at all levels.

To help you get started, we’ve decided to organize some of our content and products into five levels or spheres of wellness – individual, family, worksite, community and global – to help people pursue wellness at any level or sphere. If you decide to learn about or work on wellness projects, you’ll be able to search on “community wellness” or “worksite wellness”, for example, and pull up a list of articles and products that might be useful. SeekWellness.com will be branding articles and products with our Worksite Wellness icon that are particularly useful to employees and employers who wish to pursue this philosophy. Look for these icons to begin appearing on our pages.

Please let us know how you feel about our mission and what kinds of information or products you would find useful in your efforts.

Here are some resources to help you get started:

Organizations

  • Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA)
  • Workplace Wellness is an innovative employee and family assistance program. Counseling services, education, training and management consultation. Worplace Wellness believes that "educated, well-informed employees are the primary ingredients of a healthy and productive workforce". They support the wellness of employees, at work & home, for the benefit of both the individual and the employer.

Websites

  • Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding the environment and transforing the marketplace by promoting the manufacture, purchase, and use of environmentally responsible products and services.
  • Wellness Junction provides a manager knowledge base for workplace wellness.

Products

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