Wellness can be defined as an ongoing process in which individuals and organizations can take steps to maintain and improve health. Wellness can be applied to a variety of aspects of life, including work, family, and community. It should be a priority for individuals and governmental entities alike.
Health is more than just the absence of disease
Health is a state of physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. It is a fundamental human right. Every person should be able to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.
The World Health Organisation defines health as “the presence of the essential elements for health and well-being.” This definition includes complete physical, mental and social well-being.
In contrast to the previous definition, this definition acknowledges that an absence of disease does not guarantee optimum functioning. Therefore, it does not exclude people from developing chronic diseases.
The WHO also recognizes the importance of promoting healthy lifestyles and avoiding unhealthful situations. These efforts can help people lead a full life with purpose.
Health promotion and prevention should be a top governmental and personal priority
In the crowded arena of health care providers, there is a small handful of people who can be credited with being the catalyst of change. The other major players include the government, the insurance industry and private insurers. With that said, there is always room for improvement and more competition in the form of more choices. A more focused and more accountable health care industry will only aid in the quest to provide the best quality health care to consumers at the best price. This is a win-win situation and a sigh of relief to the health care consumer. Having said that, there is no guarantee that the competition will come to the party or linger. So, if you are planning to snag the top spot, be sure to hone your skills.
Workplace wellness initiatives can kickstart and sustain workplace wellness
Workplace wellness initiatives can help improve your employees’ physical and mental health. It can boost productivity, reduce employee stress and improve morale. However, you need to make the right moves to ensure that your wellness program is effective.
The first step to creating a workplace wellness program is to consider what your employees want. Your goals can range from making physical activities more fun to educating your employees about their health.
You can create your own programs or select from the variety of wellness ideas available to you. Consider providing incentives for participants or encouraging employees to take part in a fitness challenge. If you need a little extra encouragement, you can include an indoor or outdoor game to test endurance.
Refusing to use wellness as a buzzword
Investing in workplace wellness is a great way to improve employee engagement and performance. In fact, companies that prioritize wellness in 2020 experience a 33 percent increase in employee trust. It can also reduce health care costs.
Wellness centers, contests, and wellness conferences are becoming more popular. Companies such as Microsoft prioritize employee wellness. They provide free yoga and Zumba classes, offer onsite health services, and even provide walking tracks for employees to use.
Although workplace wellness programs aren’t new, they’ve become increasingly management-driven and more closely linked to economic interests. This raises some questions about how to define and promote wellness.
As an example, an Aon Hewitt survey found that 83 percent of businesses offer incentives for wellness activities. Yet, many employees don’t know about the benefits available to them.
Regulatory information on wellness programs
Wellness programs may qualify as group health plans, depending on their purpose. They may offer employees a premium discount if they reach certain health goals. This could include health screenings, flu shots, and physical exams.
However, wellness programs also need to meet the requirements of the ADA and HIPAA. For example, a program that identifies individuals with certain medical conditions and offers a discount on premiums might violate the ADA.
Similarly, a program that rewards employees for reaching certain health milestones might violate the ADA. Neither the ADA nor HIPAA requires employers to request that employees waive confidentiality protections. In addition, incentives that are too high might violate the ADA.
Evaluating the economic and health effects of wellness programs
Workplace wellness programs can be a great way to help employees improve their health. They also reduce health care costs and absenteeism. But it is important to evaluate the program’s effectiveness.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides incentives for firms to adopt workplace wellness programs. Among other things, the law allows firms to offer participation incentives worth up to 30% of the total health insurance cost.
However, federal policy makers have not yet implemented a comprehensive regulatory regime for workplace wellness programs. Instead, they have created a fragmented approach that addresses accessibility concerns.
A recent randomized controlled study found that premium-based financial incentives did not promote weight loss. While these programs can produce significant economic gains for employers, they also impose heavy burdens on employees.