Top 10 Reasons Why Most Corporate Health Programs Do Not Work

They are “programs”. Right away this implies a finite, set time, usually based on a predetermined agenda. Let’s help our employees on a process to evolve into healthier steps and give them the tools to continue this process.   Don’t help the participants set the right goals – often unrealistic, superficial, or non health centric … Continue reading “Top 10 Reasons Why Most Corporate Health Programs Do Not Work”

    1. They are “programs”. Right away this implies a finite, set time, usually based on a predetermined agenda. Let’s help our employees on a process to evolve into healthier steps and give them the tools to continue this process.


    1. Don’t help the participants set the right goals – often unrealistic, superficial, or non health centric goals are set which lead to non compliance or learned helplessness. Many people reach for superficial goals normally associated with a fitness program which are temporary at best. By guiding them to dig a few levels deeper, addressing their own unique set of needs and any pre existing demands in their lives – a sustainable growth oriented process is developed and embraced. And yes, those original more superficial goals will be achieved in a more livable lifestyle.


    1. The Program is based on “pop fitness” vs. cellular fitness which is the only way to address health issues. If the Pop fitness paradigm doesn’t fit – which it usually doesn’t – leads to frustration and a sense of failure. The other aspect that very few consider – the “pop fitness” paradigm can be dangerous for many. Instead of fitness from the outside and assuming its helping on the inside (big assumption) fitness needs to be addressed from the inside out.


    1. Programs are one size fits all – not addressing needs, time, medical issues – possibly creating greater biological mayhem. Needs assessments do not have to be that complicated – and they set the stage for compliance and employee confidence. We all like to feel someone cares about us – not just filling in forms checking off boxes.


    1. Programs present a list of “shoulds” and “should nots” – Nobody is looking to feel deprived, guilted or more on their to do list. None of us are looking for another miserable thing to do in our lives.


    1. Missing Measurable Outcomes: The process helps participants recognize progress & work through setbacks providing mathematically measured success at regular intervals. Nothing assures adherence more than progress and victory.


    1. The Providers: most “fitness professionals” are limited to the limited outer appearances side of fitness mentioned earlier. The same information can be obtained searching online. That same information we shake our heads and say “tried it”. An understanding of hormones, circadian rhythms, agents in their environment that can be sabotaging their efforts beyond junk food in the cupboard and no time for exercise… if these many deeper aspects of cellular health are not incorporated – the program is far too simplistic, misleading and incomplete.


    1. Accountability: We all have greater appreciation when we have invested time and effort into the project. Employees can see a direct, quantitative relationship between individual changes and outcomes


    1. Follow through – Evolution did not happen in 1 session new habits. Psychologists say it takes 2 months of consistency to integrate a new lifestyle habit. Progression into habits often takes 2-3 cycles of testing, growth and evolution. We all know about going to a seminar – getting all Ra Ra – and then… flatline.


  1. Fitness Baggage… Attitude is everything. We all have experiences we are less proud of – and unfortunately that baggage weighs us down and doesn’t allow us to move forward. The go forward is far too often nothing more than either a pep talk or lost in the fine print.

Type 2 Diabetes – An Exercise Program Will Help Prevent Health Issues

It’s almost a tragedy when you find people choose to play a passive role in caring for their health. It’s as if the majority of adults wait until a worst-case scenario starts to develop before taking the necessary action. Sometimes it may be too late for treatment, and then one is forced to live with a particular disease for the remainder of their life. Or treatment becomes too difficult, requiring effort unrealistic for many people considering they have been bystanders to the level of their health for many years.

It takes discipline to overcome a disease. It takes perseverance to see treatment all the way through.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize prevention is infinitely more important than treatment. If health complications were prevented to begin with, the harshest effects wouldn’t ever become a reality. As such, one would be much more inclined to live a healthy life as they age.

We’re all fighting against aging as it is. Why introduce diseases and general health problems to our lifestyle? It’s crucial to do what you can to prevent the incidence of debilitating conditions. Taking preventive measures could largely impede the development of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and particular cancers.

If you’re looking for an effective method to help you prevent future health problems, look no further than physical activity. To say exercise is an effective way to prevent the incidence of many debilitating diseases would be an understatement. On its own, physical activity is the #1 preventer of all-cause mortality.

If you’re currently sedentary, this fact alone should convince you to get active.

What’s more is exercise will help you control your weight. The benefit of weight loss is no surprise to you since exercise burns fat and lessens the effect of eating too many calories. By exercising, you’re allowing your body the opportunity to burn the fat it has stored for energy. While you still have to eat right, as a healthy eating plan is still essential, physical activity on its own will help you lose weight and give health-producing benefits for people with Type 2 diabetes.

If you still need convincing, physical activity will directly reduce your insulin resistance which means less injectable insulin or oral medications are required to control blood sugar. Exercise is an effective way to manage blood sugar levels or prevent its inception in the first place.

Generally speaking, by following a regular exercise program, you will be avoiding a host of future health problems. There’s no reason you shouldn’t make time to exercise on at least three or four days a week.

Workplace Health and Wellness Benefits and Program Ideas

What is workplace wellness? Workplace wellness is a broad term for programs and initiatives in the workplace that support the health, safety and wellbeing of your employees, and often their families as well. Organizational wellness is a business strategy and can be extremely beneficial to both companies and employees, offering short and long term return on investments. Canadian studies show corporate wellness programs returned $1.95 – $3.75 per employee per dollar spent!

Companies that implement workplace wellness programs see significant benefits for their company, including:

• improved employee health
• reduced stress and stress-related disorders
• better employee morale
• higher workforce productivity
• lower absenteeism and fewer sick days
• lower health benefit costs
• fewer short-term and long-term disability claims

It makes business sense to promote health and wellness in the workplace… and wellness programs don’t need to break the bank to be effective. One of the first steps to developing an effective wellness strategy for your organization is to implement a thorough workplace wellness assessment. Conducting an effective health risk assessment and environmental scan will help your organization set specific, realistic goals to improve the health and wellbeing of your workplace, and ultimately reduce costs and improve productivity.

Employee Wellness Programs

Organizations can offer a variety of health and wellness initiatives to fit their budget and assist employees in learning and developing healthy lifestyle behaviours. The following offers some suggestions for the more common health and wellness challenges organizations face today.

Stress Management Programs: Stress is one of the most common issues facing today’s workers, and its impact on health and productivity can be devastating. Employees’ stress-related disorders cost Canadian businesses an estimated $12 billion per year (Vanier Institute of the Family). To reduce stress and improve mental health and resiliency, consider offering stress management workshops and lunch and learns to educate staff about stress and to teach ways to reduce and effectively cope with stress. If budget allows, offering an employee and family assistance program provides an excellent way to support employee stress issues, both at work and at home.

Physical Activity Programs: Employee fitness has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. The health risks of inactivity include premature death, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death. To support fitness at work, some organizations offer onsite fitness facilities and programming. If your company doesn’t have an onsite gym, you can still offer group walking programs, yoga classes in a meeting room, stretch breaks, and encourage your employees to be active throughout the day.

Healthy Eating Programs: We are what we eat… and employees who eat fatty, sugary, low nutrient foods are not going to have the energy and stamina to be productive throughout the day. Poor eating also contributes to a host of illnesses and disease. As an employer, you can encourage healthy eating by offering and promoting nutritious food choices in your cafeteria and vending machines. Do you offer snacks at meetings? Avoid the standard unhealthy snacks and treats, and offer healthier options.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention: One sure-fire way to reduce your company’s benefit costs is to promote disease prevention. If your corporate health risk assessment shows a high number of employees who smoke, are diabetics or take heart medication, address these issues through your wellness programming. Offer employee health resources and educational materials, smoking cessation programs and health screening services.

These are just some ideas of how your organization can integrate corporate wellness initiatives into your company, and help you see a return on your investment. For more information, ideas and to find Canadian workplace wellness service providers and programs for your workplace, browse the Works of Wellness website. We are Canada’s workplace wellness business directory and collaborative information portal, connecting your organization with workplace wellness services and expertise.

Works of Wellness is Canada’s workplace wellness business directory and collaborative information portal. Our goals are to promote awareness and adoption of employee health and workplace wellness in Canada, and to showcase Canadian workplace wellness companies, sharing the latest in programming information, ideas, services and expertise.