Best worksite wellness programs

Wellness programs are increasingly becoming a part of workplace culture. Confirmation from research studies that healthy nutrition, physical activity, and stress management have a positive impact on our health, as well as national healthcare reform and the pressure to contain healthcare costs, are all accelerating this development.

According to David Hunnicutt, PhD., Director of the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA, welcoa.org), there are two distinct paths in the design of worksite wellness programs; they are either activity-centered or results-oriented.

Activity-centered workplace wellness programs are those that make “activities” the central focus of their initiative. In fact, many workplace wellness practitioners incorporate a variety of simple activities into their company’s annual schedule of wellness events.

When it comes to long-term success, Hunnicutt favors results-oriented programs, those that focus not on simply offering a “program of the month”, but on impacting the organization’s bottom line through improved employee health and increased productivity.

What if you are a strategic planner for a worksite wellness program that is currently activity-focused? Hunnicutt says it is challenging but doable to transition from an activity-centered wellness program to a results-oriented one. WELCOA’s Seven Benchmarking System offers that direction by transforming wellness programs into initiatives that attain measurable results.