Sunday, March 13, 2011

Corporate fitness programs continue to grow in importance

Last week the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index posted its figures for February (the poll posts monthly)  and the headline from February 2011 is that while five of the categories polled in the well-being index were neutral or slightly up, workplace well-being, the sixth category, declined.

Read the article here: Workplace well-being declines, third straight year

This is keeping with a 38 month trend of employees' attitudes ebbing ever lower when it comes to how they feel about their jobs.  And it reinforces an article I put up on San Jose Fitness Examiner a few months back, that workers say their workplace actually hinders fitness.  

To me it seems clear: people who don't believe their boss cares if they are healthy or not, and who feel that the company is all about improving the company and not improving the worker will be demoralized about work.

Reading about the trends, I began to wonder what effect corporate fitness programs could have (or are having) on this sinking morale, and I put an email in to Patty Purpur of the Stanford Health Promotion Network.  Patty is a smart lady who has a lot of interesting information at her fingertips,and she's been working in corporate wellness programs since around 1995 so she has a good perspective.

Patty's noted a change recently in that corporations are putting more mental health and mental wellness programs in place and teaching journaling, meditation, and yoga.  It all goes together to meet that sagging spirit that seems pervasive, I suppose.

Personally, I think that some days the boss just needs to come by and say, "The company won't sink into oblivion if you get up from your desk right now and go for a five minute walk around the building."  Actually, one of the things I like about my job is that my boss does encourage that. 

So go on over and check out the article. See if you agree that corporate wellness programs could be the answer to help with that last piece of well-being.

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