This month brings more than just thoughts of upcoming summer vacation. May marks the start of Global Employee Health and Fitness Month. What began as a single day dedicated to employee wellness has expanded to a month-long initiative to highlight the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for both employers and employees.
Capital Health Plan has created wellness programs to encourage members to adopt a healthier way of life. With Capital Health Plan’s Fitness Reimbursement Program, members are eligible for up to $150 per calendar year for membership at a qualified health and fitness center. Additionally, CHP’s Health Information Line is a 24-hour phone line staffed by health care professionals who can assist with any health-related questions. While the Health Information Line is not a substitute for physicians, staff can provide helpful tools and resources to help you manage your wellness. The ultimate goal is to make healthy lifestyles an easier choice.
Workplace wellness programs are a great benefit to both individuals and their employers, having been shown not only to enhance employee productivity but also to contribute to reduced absences, health care costs, and overall workplace injuries and ailments, according to a 2016 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Wellness Report. These factors are extremely costly to employers, so measures that can reduce that burden are a benefit everyone. In 2018, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education reported that companies lose nearly $300 billion annually due to absenteeism, workplace accidents, and health care costs. As a welcome side benefit, promoting lifelong healthy habits also creates more positive work environments, increasing overall job satisfaction while decreasing stress levels.
Even though the health and fitness initiative is only one month long, its effects can be long-lasting. Research has shown that over 60% of employees make healthier life choices because of wellness programs introduced by their companies.
So, take this opportunity to get started on a positive approach to health and fitness. This May, take your health into your own hands.
David Jones, MD, is a pediatric physician at Capital Health Plan and serves on the board of directors for Get Outdoors Florida. His hobbies include playing sports and being outdoors.