Corporate Wellness Programs: Do you need one?

For many employers the costs associated with investing in employee welfare can make a significant contribution to bottom line results. The corporate wellness sector is a growth industry with companies recognising the positive impact on morale, productivity and bottom line results that can derive from an investing in employee wellbeing.


In this article we examine the positive impact employee health and fitness can have on absenteeism and how Zoom Fitness can partner with corporate clients to improve overall health of employees.

 

Absenteeism – the cause and cost

A 2013 survey conducted by Direct Health Solutions (DHS) found that illness (eg cold/flu, headaches, gastro and mental health) and home and family responsibilities are the primary reason for absenteeism with the median number of days off per year being 8 days per employee.

A Beyond Blue and TNS Social Research report titled State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia found that one in five Australians (21%) has taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy¹.  The report goes on to cite an ABS study that found 45% of Australians between the ages of 16 – 85 will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime.

The cost to enterprise of absenteeism has been placed at $578 per employee per absent day according to the Ai Groups’ Absenteeism & Presenteeism Survey Report 2015.

¹Heads Up: Provides individuals and business with free tools and resources to take action to improve mental health at the workplace. https://www.headsup.org.au/home


What can an employer do?
As an employer you can contribute to the wellbeing of your “corporate athlete”. There are volumes of literature on creating a positive working environment and improving productivity. Investing in supervisor training, team building and capital investment in the means of production can all have positive outcomes.


A position paper published by the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) under the auspices of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) titled Improving workforce health and workplace productivity: A virtuous circle made some interesting observations.

  1. The World Health Organization describes the relationship between health and workplace productivity as a virtuous circle, stating “A virtuous circle can be established: improved conditions at work will lead to a healthier workforce, which will lead to improved productivity, and hence to the opportunity to create a still healthier, more productive workplace”

  2.  Good health in the workplace leads to better wages with people who rate themselves as being in good health earning 18% more than those with fair to poor health;

  3. Success in workplace health is not attainable via the efforts of health professionals alone. It must be a cooperative enterprise with employers, those who represent the best interests of employees; 

Figure Below: The self-perpetuating benefits of the virtuous circle.

 

The self perpetuating benefits of the Virtuous Circle

For the purpose of this article we will focus on what an employer can do to improve the physical wellbeing of employees as for many employers this may be the low hanging fruit of a more comprehensive wellness program.

According to Alec Bashinsky, the Chief Human Resource Officer at Deloitte (as reported by News Corp’s Natalie Apostolou) the physical health of employees is one of four pillars Deloitte focus on in “the making of our corporate athlete.  We focus on the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual.  These initiatives include encouraging physical health behaviours to build endurance and emotional satisfaction, supporting continuous learning and helping employees find a sense of meaning and purpose in what they do”.

There are many companies offering Corporate Wellness Solutions with their service often including corporate massage, team building activities, corporate fitness programs and meditation training. The peak body for more comprehensive workplace health programs is Workplace Health Australia.

With obesity levels on the rise along with the risk of type 2 diabetes a healthy diet combined with a realistic exercise program can make a huge contribution to an employee’s ongoing health.  Given the often sedentary nature of the workplace, poor diet choices and lack of motivation - embarking on a health and fitness journey often requires the services of not only a coach but a tactician and team captain.


Zoom Fitness with locations in Footscray Victoria and Osborne Park and Marmion in Western Australia has been providing health and fitness solutions to members since 2010.  With modern cardio, strength and free weights Zoom Fitness 24/7 fitness centres are a great resource for individuals looking to improve their health and fitness levels.

Along with fitness centres Zoom Fitness have developed a network of fitness and allied industry professionals who are available to work with companies and individuals to achieve positive health outcomes.  Package options and pricing may vary between gyms. Please contact us for an obligation free quote.


What can Zoom Fitness do to assist?

  • Off-Site and On-Site Consultancy Solutions

Health & Wellness Assessments

Health and wellness assessment options are available for companies both on and off-site to identify areas for improvement to employee health and fitness for the benefit of workplace productivity.  Some options for assessment are:

Physical health assessment – Done by one of our wellness consultants and includes weight, body fat %, body water %, BMI, waist-hip measurement’s.
Benefits: Identifies abdominal visceral fat levels to determine requirements to improve cardiac, digestive health and general fitness. Recognizes hydration levels and its effects on fat storage and daily fatigue.  Recommended every 12 weeks to monitor results of a health and wellness program.

Postural Analysis – Consultation with Corrective Exercise Programmer to identify muscle imbalances, postural strengths/weaknesses, range of motion throughout the joints and flexibility testing.
Benefits: Identifies areas where ergonomics may be improved to aid in correcting postural variations or to improve muscular imbalances developed from work. Decreases the risk and occurrence of workplace injuries and reduces chronic injuries sustained from repetitive workplace activities. Useful for corporate office employees often utilizing a computer for over 3 hours a day or for employees in labour intensive jobs.

Nutritional health assessment – Includes antioxidant assessment, toxicity and general diet check. Also identifies current or developing nutritional deficiencies as well as taking into account general lifestyle of the employee, ie: hours of sleep per night and smoking/drinking etc..
Benefits: Provides an accurate overview of an employee’s nutritional profile along with recommendations for improvement. Useful for companies to encourage employees to adopt healthy eating, adequate rest and appropriate hydration for improved workplace productivity and the reduction of fatigue while at work.

  • Off Site Health & Wellness Solutions

Fitness Access Package

3 months gym membership for company employees at Zoom Fitness

Initial Health assessment for employees upon joining, including weight, body fat %, body water %

15 minute lifestyle assessment and Goal setting session with a consultant

Individual Gym Program designed for each employee by a qualified personal trainer

30 minute One on One Training session with a Personal Trainer to learn their gym program

Free attendance to our 30 minute lunchtime fitness classes (not available at all sites)

Free attendance to our lunchtime informational seminars held 1 every month

Mentoring to assist in goal achievement


  • On site Health & Wellness Solutions

Needs analysis and goal setting session for company package

Wellness program development specific to the needs of your company

  • Some Options for Health and Wellness Programs:

Informational Seminars and Demonstrations of your choice conducted in-house

Topics include: nutrition, stress reduction, stretching for officeworkers, mobility in the workplace, ideal posture, healthy lunches, hydration, goal setting, motivation etc…

Pre-start meeting with Health and Wellness Consultant to prepare employees for physical tasks (ideal for labour intensive jobs)

Ergonomic adjustment of employee’s workplace station (ideal for offices)

Nutritional Plans for employees

Healthy Food Recipe share and food samples

30 minute – 60 minute lunchtime exercise sessions pilates, boxing, team building, stretching, postural stretching and strengthening, core/abs

Lunchtime healthy eating tours – Visit to local lunch spots under the advice of a nutrition therapist

Walking group to nearby trail: 30 minute – 60 minute

For more information or to arrange an obligation free meeting with a Zoom Fitness representative please contact David Allport on 0439 946 190 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.