Workplace Wellness – Why?
Why do we need to have wellness programs in our places of work? There are tons of research articles proving the benefits (increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, reduced medical costs, and etc.) but I am going to share a more personal look at why I believe workplace wellness programs are needed.
Let me share a little bit with you about my background – I have always been an athlete. I grew up doing gymnastics – competed at Auburn my first two years. From there I transitioned to the Auburn Track & Field team competing in Pole Vault and Hammer Throw my last two years.. all while earning my Bachelors and Masters Degrees studying my passion – Health Promotion. After my collegiate athletic career I tried out for the US Women’s Bobsled Team. I competed for the USA in bobsled for 3 years traveling all around the world. However, injuries triggered the end of my bobsled career.
After bobsled, I took on a more stable position and worked as an office assistant where I found myself sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. This was quite the change from my previous lifestyle, but the transition opened my eyes to a BIG problem that most Americans face and that is why I am writing this post…
Through all the years in all my sports, it is safe to say I know pain – numerous ankle sprains, pulled & torn muscles, stress fractures, everyday aches and bruises, muscle spasms, ripped and torn skin, sore muscles, separated shoulders, and concussions. But despite all this, my body has never hurt more than when I sat at a desk for 8 hours on a day to day basis!!!
Seriously, my neck and back were cramping up and causing constant pain. The snacks and candy in the office were right there in front of me and I was eating way more calories than I should have without ever realizing it, causing a slow creeping weight gain. Sitting in a chair all day caused all of my muscles to tighten up which increased tension and stress. Then, to make myself feel temporarily better, I would eat more chocolate and candy, causing a downward spiral in my health. I was feeling absolutely horrible. If most Americans can relate to this experience, then no wonder USA is one of the most unhealthiest nations in the world!
The sad truth is, many of us do not have a clue about how good our bodies are designed to feel. So many have been in this unhealthy routine and downward spiral for so long that it has become the norm. It breaks my heart to watch family and friends deal with health issues that could have been prevented through small lifestyle changes. So what are we to do about this problem? While everybody is responsible for their own health, workplace wellness programs can make a huge impact on helping individuals live healthier lives!
Think about it.. where we work is where we spend most of our time. If a work week, Monday – Friday, has 120 hours, and we sleep 8 hours a night, that leaves us with only 80 hours awake. And if we work full time – 40 hours a week, that means ½ of our time awake is spent at our workplaces!! So, if we can create a culture of health at our workplaces, that means no matter what, ½ of our time will be spent in a healthier environment rather than in a place that negates our health.
Many of us do not even know where to begin to create a wellness program and begin this shift in unhealthy office culture, so that is why I created A Stronger Workplace, LLC.
A Stronger Workplace will come into your office and create, implement, and execute a customized program for you! Please have your Human Resources department contact Megan to learn more about how A Stronger Workplace can help your company. Email: Megan@astrongerworkplace.com.