How can employers help to support the physical health of employees?

5 minutes reading time
January 27, 2023

How can employers help to support the physical health of

A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. When employees are feeling their best, they're able to work at their full potential, concentrating on their tasks and putting forth their best effort.

Good health doesn't just mean being physically fit: it also means having a positiveoutlook and a strong mental well-being. Employees who are dealing with health problems or mental health issues are more likely to call in sick and have lower productivity levels. That's why it's so important for employers to create a culture of wellness in the workplace.

By promoting healthy lifestyle choices and offering employee assistance programs, companies can encourage their employees to take care of themselves, both physically and mentally.

What's more, if you invest in healthcare for your employees, physically healthy staff also tend to have lower healthcare costs. For these reasons, it makes good business sense for employers to invest in options to support the physical health of their employees. It’s also just the right thing to do. So how can employers support the physical health of their employees? Well, there are a number of ways:

1. Employers should provide a wellness program that includes healthscreenings and education

First up, it's a great idea to offer health insurance that covers preventive care and wellness visits. Employers can also offer incentives for employees to participate in wellness programs, such as free gym memberships or reimbursement for race entry fees.

While screenings can help identify potential health risks, education can help employees make healthier choices. For example, an employer might offer educational seminars on healthy eating or stress management. By offering these resources, employers can help their employees to lead healthy lifestyles. Employers who provide wellness programs can see a return on their investment in the form of reduced healthcare costs and improved employee productivity.

2. They should also offer flexible work hours so employees can have time for physical activity outside of work

Providing access to fitness facilities or offering discounts on gym memberships can encourage employees to exercise on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean they’ll feel like they have time.

Having the opportunity to work flexible hours means employees can choose when to start and finish their working day, as long as they complete their required hours. There are many advantages to this, but one of the most important is that it allows employees to have time for physical activity outside of work.

Employees can choose to exercise during the day, when they have more energy and daylight. This is particularly beneficial for those who live in cold climates, where it can be difficult to motivate yourself to go out for a run after dark. In addition, flexible work hours can help employees to avoid peak-hour traffic, making it easier and quicker to get to and from the gym.

What’s more, flexible working can support employees with a disability or employees who need to manage any medical conditions. It can allow them to better manage their symptoms or condition. For example, if they need to take breaks during the day to rest or take medication, flexible working arrangements can give them the time they need to do so. When people are able to work in a way that best suits their needs, they can feel like they are valued members of the team.

As a result, employers who offer flexible work hours are not only supporting their employees' health, but also helping them to be more productive and efficientworkers.

3. Employers should encourage their employees to get regular check-ups and stay up-to-date on preventive care

Lastly, if you want to help employees to stay informed about their health and make proactive decisions about their wellness, you should encourage them to get regular check-ups – including dental, optical and hearing.

Most people know that it's important to visit the dentist, optometrist and audiologist on a regular basis to maintain good oral, vision and hearing health. What many people don't realise, however, is that these checkups can also have a significant impact on workplace productivity. Employees who have dental, optical or hearing problems are more likely to experience absenteeism, presenteeism (when employees are physically present but not productive) and work-related accidents.

In fact, job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days five times more often than someone with functional hearing. It's clear that employers have a vested interest in encouraging their employees to stay up-to-date on their dental, optical and hearing checkups. Not only will this help to improve employee health and well-being, but it will allow employers to make any appropriate adjustments in the workplace to support the needs of their employees.

By promoting good health habits, employers can create a culture of wellness that will benefit both the individual and the company as a whole. While some employers may be hesitant to offer benefits that could be perceived as costly, the long-term savings and increased productivity are well worth the investment.

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