We spend a lot of time at work, doing the same thing day in and out, increasing the risk for repetitive injuries. Employee general well-being seems to be of increasing interest to employers. As a result, more and more employers are opting into wellness plans and offering incentives for those who participate. Some companies even go as far as to bring wellness to work and allow employees to participate during work time.
While it may seem counterintuitive to have employees doing anything but work during work hours, to these employers the benefits are clear.
According to a blog post by TodayinPT, loss of productivity due to strains and injuries has had a measurable impact on businesses, and even skeptical employees have noticed improvements from on-site therapy programs.
We have an onsite manufacturing plant [...] where a lot of our employees are male and wouldn’t make appointments to see a doctor until they were in a lot of pain,” Vissers said. “We want to help them to avoid long-term health problems by being proactive about their health, and realizing that pain isn’t an inevitable part of aging.”
While some of the manufacturing plant workers were unsure whether they actually could benefit from stretching [...] they were taught their roles at the company were as “industrial athletes” because of the lifting and physical labor required. Six months later, when their reach and other outcomes were measured again, employees saw the benefits of stretching. In the maintenance department pilot of 90 employees, only one strain was reported in a 10-month period, compared with 21 strains and sprains in the period before the pilot began.
Although a potential initial investment upfront, it seems wellness programs can offer a big return; employees receive preventative care and healthier employees tend to take fewer sick days. Identifying and reducing potential on the job injuries is a huge incentive as well and may encourage employers to implement pre-employment screenings or ergonomic evaluations once empoyees are on the job.
Some questions to consider:
As an employee, do you feel your employer provides adequate wellness incentives/resources?
As an employer, do you feel wellness programs are realistic and beneficial?
As a clinician, are you approached by employers to participate in similar programs or do you market to employers for these services?
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