Money for Nothing and My Wellness for Free
They say the best things in life are free, so would you consider worksite wellness to be one of those “best things”?
Although research clearly supports the value of allocating budget dollars toward a wellness program, the practitioner in me knows that’s not always possible for all companies. So, what do you do when you want to initiate a wellness program but there are no funds to do so? You start here. For a company with some passion around wellness, there are ways to get you started on the road to wellness that don’t cost a thing. Ready set? Let’s go!
On your mark
Wait! Before you take a single step forward, stop and look around you. Are there simple changes that could be made within your organization to make healthy choices easier for your employees? Is it clear where the stairwells are located? Does your cafeteria or vending machines offer and label healthiest choices? Looking first at any environmental impacts is a critical step in creating a healthier workplace. Some of these changes won’t cost a dime and will go far in making your workplace a healthy place to be.
Just like a good GPS system is a reliable way to navigate through a city, a wellness toolkit can help you get started with your wellness planning and offer great ideas and tips to inspire your programming. For all businesses here in Minnesota, the free WorkWell Healthy Minnesota Toolkit is a great place to start. From building the business case to creating wellness teams and determining the right ways to evaluate, this is a great first step to getting your program off the ground. http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/hpcd/NGAtoolkit/toolkit.pdf
You have done your training, laced up your shoes and you are ready to make wellness happen. Here are some resources that will help you hit the ground running!
A great first place to look is your company’s health plan. Whether you are fully or self insured, your health insurance company likely has many resources available at no additional cost to covered employees. From stop smoking programs to 24 hour nurselines, check with your plan to see what’s available.
The obesity trend is affecting just about every company. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has responded to the obesity epidemic with a free workplace program called, “LEAN Works”. All of the resources and tools you need are available at: http://www.cdc.gov/leanworks/
Want to promote walking and biking routes around your place of business? This tool from Google allows you to map point-to-point anywhere in the world and find out how many miles you travel and how many approximate calories are burned along the route. You can even print the map to share with your employees. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/
Communicating health messages with employees whose primary language is not English?
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine makes it easier to reach those employees (and their families) with solid health promoting messages. Languages include Spanish, Russian, Hmong, and many others. http://nnlm.gov/outreach/consumer/multi.html#A12
Finally, community health organizations can be great sources for information specific to preventing or living healthier with long-term health conditions. Most of these national organizations can connect you with their local offices which may have free materials and potentially even free onsite speakers. www.americanheart.org; www.arthritis.org; www.diabetes.org; www.lungusa.org; www.cancer.org.
2011-03-10 16:05:15 -0500