Working Toward Better Health

Good health takes work — we all know that. But did you ever think that the key to overall good health might include a healthy work environment?

According to a recent survey, employees who work for companies that have embraced a culture of health and wellness report they’re in better control of their health, experience less stress and are happier, when compared to employees who work for businesses without strong health cultures. The report also found that the employees of these “healthier” companies were more likely to take care of their own health by getting an annual physical and exercising on a regular basis.

So what does this mean for you? It could mean a lot. Most full-time employees spend more waking time at the office than at home, so it’s important that you feel as if your healthy lifestyle is supported. Companies that embrace the wellness culture often encourage healthier lifestyle choices during work hours, promote wellness outside of the workplace and provide benefits that make being healthier easier for employees. About 86 percent of employers incentivize wellness by offering financial benefits or rewards for those who get healthier.

If your employer doesn’t offer a formal corporate wellness program, that doesn’t mean you and your co-workers can’t create your own healthier work environment. Try implementing some of these ideas.

• Walk at lunch. Get a group of friends together, and walk around the outside of the building during your lunch break. When you get into a routine of walking with friends, you’re less likely to quit — others are depending on you.

• Request healthier vending machine options. While your co-workers might get upset if the candy bars and chips all disappeared from your office snack machines, everyone could benefit from a few healthier options, such as trail mix, granola bars or bottled water. Ask your office manager if these changes are a possibility.

• Use your benefits. With your health insurance, your annual checkup and your preventive health screenings are covered at no cost to you. Find a primary care physician and use the benefits that are available to you.

• Take it easy. If you have sick days, use them. Taking paid time off work when you’re sick allows you to recover while protecting your co-workers from the spread of germs.

Developing a healthier lifestyle means embracing healthier behaviors at home and at home. The changes you make now can benefit you for years in the future.

To get a well-rounded look at your well-being, visit YourWellBeingScore.com.

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