Workplace Wellness is any workplace wellness activity or program designed to enhance health outcomes and to promote optimal health behavior in the workplace. This includes measures used to improve productivity and organizational performance, reduce health-related costs, and improve the physical and mental health of all individuals who work in an organization. Some well-known workplace wellness initiatives include wellness management programs, health promotion activities, and the implementation of strategies that reduce workplace injury and illness. These initiatives are often implemented as part of a comprehensive wellness strategy, which assesses the current health status of an organization and develops a coordinated plan to ensure the long-term sustainability of that organization.
Workplace wellness has become an increasing important part of the workplace environment, with many companies realizing that they can be held responsible for the health and wellness of their employees if they provide them with excellent work conditions, adequate training, sufficient opportunities for physical exercise and mental stimulation, and access to safe and clean environments. The recent economic downturn has also made businesses more aware of the need to implement cost-effective strategies to reduce their overall health-related costs. Studies have shown that employers who adopt workplace wellness programs pay back significantly more in health claims than companies that don’t implement such programs.
In the United States, the Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs has identified several specific areas that require greater focus in order to ensure that injured workers receive fair compensation. Among these specific areas are the areas related to work-related injuries, mental health, exposure to workplace toxins and chemicals, and the ability to perform the various tasks necessary to keep an organization functioning smoothly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one in ten workers will suffer a work-related injury during any given year, and nearly nine out of every ten workers will experience a job-related injury that causes loss of life. The issue of workplace violence is also becoming a more prevalent concern, with reports surfacing each day of violent acts against people who are at work. Although we may never know exactly what causes these acts of violence, studies have shown that violence at work is now a bigger problem than in years past.
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