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Staying healthy and well is important. It makes us feel better, be more productive and ultimately live longer. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of Americans are obese – meaning they carry more body fat then they should, given their height.
For many, the trouble is finding time and motivation to eat healthy and exercise. After spending eight hours at work and then juggling all the other responsibilities that come with being an adult, we often don’t make the effort to take care of ourselves like we should.
To help combat this and to address additional health concerns, many workplaces now offer wellness programs to employees. If you’re looking for a new job or considering changing careers, it is worth it to ask what health benefits your potential employer may offer.
According to an Aflac WorkForces Report, half of the 2,000 business-decision-makers they surveyed said their companies sponsor workplace wellness programs, up from just 30% in 2012.
Overall, companies are offering more options for employees as studies have shown that wellness programs not only provide health benefits, but also improve retention, reduce sick time and increase productivity.
Here are a few examples of health and wellness programs offered by different employers:
If your workplace doesn’t offer official programs, there are still ways to be mindful of your health throughout the workday.
You can start a walking club with co-workers and spend 10-15 minutes of your lunch break taking a brisk walk outside. Establishing a walking routine has been shown to help with maintaining a healthy weight, as well as help with preventing various conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The fresh air will help energize you and prevent the afternoon slump.
If you can’t break away from your desk but still want to exercise, there are options to help with that. An under-desk elliptical machine offers workers the ability to burn calories while sitting. If you’re a good multi-tasker and can pump your legs and type at the same time, this could be a great option.
And remember, drink plenty of water, take breaks to stand up and stretch and fill your snack drawer up with healthy options so you’re less likely to eat something high in fat or sugar.