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Getting the Most from your Wellness Program

Five simple tips for the Dallas small business to major corporation

We’re headed into the time of the year when working Metroplex denizens, having stuffed themselves for Thanksgiving and preparing to do the same again soon, start to consider (or reconsider) their health and fitness aspirations. Meanwhile, businesses with wellness committees meet to put together a budget for 2018 and think of how to most effectively allocate those dollars. Soon we’ll be into a new calendar year, with resolutions made by people and the places they work. “New Year, New You!”…and your office environment can actually do quite a bit to help you in this endeavor.

If you’re an employee, we’ve discussed in the past how to make the most of a simple five-minute break. But what about the small business owner, or the wellness committee member? For the former, it may seem that the idea of a dedicated “wellness program” is the prerogative of bigger businesses. Happily, this is not the case. Simple, inexpensive steps can be taken to create a healthier workplace, and often one’s health insurance provider will be willing to work with you. And while the rare resentful skeptic may question their effectiveness, to nearly everyone from the CEO to the hourly employee, it’s common sense that a healthy workforce is more productive, and so it behooves any organization to provide whatever assistance it can reasonably afford.

Here are five D/FW-specific ways to make the most of your wellness program:

Share Some Basic Information

A periodic e-mail linking employees to wellness-assisting agencies is a great place to begin. It’s something they can bookmark or keep in their folders for any situation that may arise. Often asking for help (for oneself or others) can be embarrassing, so sharing information for fellow staffers can be a big benefit, whether it’s for smoking cessation, nutrition guides, or dealing with alcohol abuse. You don’t have to track all those links down, either: we’ve provided an ever-increasing page which gives links to health services of all manner, public and private, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. (We also recommend making use of the BeWell Dallas portion of the D Magazine website!)

Healthy Snack Alternatives

Bringing fresh fruit, energy bars, or other nutritious munchables into the office is every bit as inexpensive as the more sugary fare…and the correlation to a more productive workplace are well-documented in multiple studies (including this one by a team of researchers published in the British Journal of Health Psychology in 2015). It’s important that these be tasty snacks, however – simply bringing in tough-skinned, mealy red delicious apples and chucking them into a bowl won’t cut it. Dallas is blessed with an abundance of options for the health-conscious employee, such as office fruit delivery by local favorite ORCHARD At The OFFICE who will do all the work in getting the best fruit for your business large or small, as well as other treats including the sweet, healthy goodness of Nature Nate’s raw honey. These inexpensive options will help you get the most out of your budget, and contribute significantly to your company’s bottom line.

Monthly Coaching

One cost-effective idea is to periodically bring in a fitness expert – a nutrition coach, a personal trainer, a kinesiologist – who can give a brief presentation offering your staff pointers on what to eat, how to stay fit, or simple daily exercises. Many health experts certified by The Cooper Institute can provide such information, and those with experience in group settings have learned to avoid speaking in a “healthier-than-thou” manner and can inspire confidence in others, which can lead to our next suggestion…

Company Athletic Endeavors

Often the impetus for a lifestyle change is team activity. Joining the company softball league will inspire an individual to take up running, or an office cycling club will furnish the initial motivation for onlookers to join in the fun. The great thing about business-led athletic events is they can be done by a company of virtually any size: a business in Euless with an employee count of five can join in a relay race put on by the Dallas Running Club as easily as can a Plano-headquartered multinational with a staff of thousands. Whether sponsoring an event or simply participating, an organization can help carry the message of fitness effectively and with an elasticity of budget.

And while you’re at it, you can pick up some much-needed items:

Simple Merchandise

“SWAG! Stuff We All Get!” beams Michael Scott in an episode of the American version of The Office. While it’s not actually the correct etymology, we understand the reference, and giving staff members health-related products adorned with the company logo sends an effective message. Water bottles for runners and cyclists, hats and technical shirts, or even pill organizers all get people thinking about staying healthy and can be produced en masse by many Metroplex companies.

Of course, for the larger organizations, there are a variety of other options, such as setting up employee assistance programs, hosting health screenings, or creating entire wellness initiatives with stated goals and internal marketing budgets. These all have their effectiveness and can be utilized as the business sees fit. The list provided in this article is a short sample of ideas that can be employed by any organization with a minimum of cost and fuss. Ideas and experience that any other businesses can share would be most welcomed. Thank you for reading, and LIVE WELL, DALLAS!

Chris Buchanan is the Operations Wiseapple for ORCHARD At The OFFICE.
To get fruit delivered to your D/FW business, call 972.295.9091 or click here

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