Workplace Health Programs can Cut Costs, Increase Productivity

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THE JESSAMINE JOURNAL | LAUREN LANE | JUNE 25, 2015

The typical employee in Jessamine County spends nearly 34 percent of their day at work, many spending much of their day seated, hunched forward at their computer.

This large amount of time seated plus the continuing increase of healthcare costs and the large number of Americans with obesity, heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes, has created a challenging scenario for employers and employees.

Many employers have begun to look into worksite health as a means to reduce employee health costs and improve productivity and creativity, to name a few reasons.

According to the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville, a good worksite-health program can reduce sick leave, medical claims and workers compensation claims by as much as 25 percent.

It is estimated that smoke-free workplace strategies and education have prevented roughly 800,000 deaths related to lung cancer from 1975 to 2000.

A good wellness program begins with strong support from management, and a dedication to improving the culture of health within your organization.

A few examples of small, low- to no-cost changes that can be built into a worksite program include wellness-policy creation; walking and standing meetings; ergonomic assessments at worksites and workstations; group walking at breaks; and stretching throughout the day. After a 20 minute walk, studies show significantly more attention and faster information processing.

If you are interested in tailoring a current program or implementing a wellness program, the Jessamine County Health Department now has a worksite wellness coordinator ready to help Jessamine County businesses to a healthy workforce.

Contact Lauren Lane at the Jessamine County Health Department at 885-4149 ext. 1040 or email at laurenm.lane@ky.gov for more information.

Lauren Lane is a worksite wellness coordinator and health educator for the Jessamine County Health Department, 210 East Walnut Street in Nicholasville.

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