Corporate wellness programs are growing in popularity as companies aim to reduce healthcare costs. The success of such programs is a subject of debate, but one cannot deny American waistlines are growing. American workers are spending more time than ever sitting at their desks and less time exercising. Likewise, unhealthy food choices are more easily accessible, especially in the workplace. Planning a successful corporate wellness program essentially comes down to design and execution.
A recent report “From Evidence to Practice: Workplace Wellness that Works”, produced by the Transamerica Center for Health Studies and the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, offers the latest research as well as expert advice from practitioners. The big takeaway – programs that do not teach participants how to identify and overcome unhealthy behaviors typically fail. Things like corporate wellness surveys, paid incentive programs, and wellness websites offer short-term guidance without the support that leads to long-term behavioral changes in its participants.
How To Build A Corporate Wellness Program
So, what can you do to build a successful corporate wellness program? Within the company, start by building a health-focused workplace culture. Offer healthy options in vending machines, discounts on gym memberships, and insurance discounts for healthy behaviors. Implement smart incentives that promote healthy competition, camaraderie, and teamwork amongst employees. Most importantly, encourage your leaders to support and participate in any corporate initiatives to make employees feel support and further bolster participation.
Making Sure That Corporate Wellness Sustains Itself
While these corporate initiatives are great they are only the start. Once employees go home they find it easier to fall into their typical patterns. A successful corporate wellness program works to improve long-term behaviors, both at work and at home. Fitness camps provide an optimal environment for your employees to learn and apply the guiding principles that help them make healthier decisions.
Fitness camps provide structure and guidance in areas that are critical to employees’ success:
Health assessments and wellness plans. At camps like Fit Farm, attendees receive a health assessment that establishes a baseline of fitness and a personalized plan to achieve their goals. Attendees also learn to monitor the right metrics that are true indicators of their progress. Many people tend to focus only on the number they see on the scale, become discouraged, and return to unhealthy habits. Fitness camps focus on teaching principles that attendees can successfully apply once they return home.
Real-time feedback from health and fitness experts. Most people don’t feel happy about their unhealthy habits. They want to change but they don’t know how. Fitness camps help attendees to work through the physical and mental barriers side by side with certified fitness professionals. With a structured daily schedule, attendees work through exercises designed to build strength, endurance, and boost metabolism. They leave camp armed with a fitness plan that can be incorporated into workplace incentives as well.
Meal planning and healthy food education. Food is a driving factor behind people’s unhealthy choices. Many people associate healthy eating with tasteless, unappealing food or they just don’t know how to prepare healthy meals. Quality fitness camps serve healthful, gourmet meals and snacks to introduce attendees to healthy eating. Nutrition experts then educate them on foods to avoid, healthy alternatives to their favorite foods, identifying better ingredients, and overcoming those critical pitfalls that lead to unhealthy eating. Food education is perhaps the most critical step to achieving long-term success. The environment of a fit camp is ideal for jumpstarting healthier eating patterns for your employees.
The benefit of teambuilding and support. Your employees spend much of their time together in the same space. The camaraderie that develops in most workplaces can be highly beneficial when applied in a fitness camp setting. Employees will come together, supporting each other and growing stronger as a team. Once they return home, that teamwork can be applied within your corporate initiatives to further nurture healthy habit building and overall employee satisfaction.
The Fitness Camp Advantage
Companies have a real opportunity to utilize fitness camps to reinforce their corporate wellness programs. With a healthier workforce, the return on investment of reduced medical costs and absenteeism is apparent. But a successful program goes much further than that in terms of the overall value for the company. Many companies with similar programs are beginning to see a boost in employee morale, improved retention and loyalty with current employees, as well as the attraction and retention of top talent.
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