Laura Nolan, Health Solutions Executive at Humana, is a strong advocate for bringing a healthy lifestyle into the corporate office environment. We spoke the other day and she spoke passionately about how health solutions can positively affect output for any company AND the community.
Here are the numbers:
- Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 BILLION (or $1,685 per employee). Source: CDC, International Monetary Fund
- People going to work when they’re sick (presenteeism) accounts for nearly TWO-THIRDS OF THE TOTAL COSTS of worker illness. Source: Harvard Business Review
- More than 48 million workers—or 38 percent of the U.S. working population— have no paid sick leave. Source: NHIS, 2008
- Companies that have exemplary safety, health and environmental programs OUTPERFORMED THE S&P 500 by between 3 and 5 percent. Source: Fabius R, Thayer R, Dixon BA, et al. 2013
And then it hit me:
Why aren’t all companies already doing this? It would save them so much money!
After 16 years with Humana, Laura has to say this to employers:
“…with wellness, each and every employer should consider it. Even if they aren’t, [or if] they don’t have the funds with the budgets to purchase a high tech wellness program for their employees, anything that you can do to think outside of the box [to ensure your employees are treated well.]”
There are BILLIONS — okay, maybe not billions – but a lot of apps out there to help you and your employees on their health journey!
Check out these other articles:
The best 8 Apps for a Calm, Focused Mind by Huffington post
15 tools that will help you stay focused by Product Hunt
Personally, I’m old school and if I try to take a break, I try to do it away from tech. So, here are some of the things that are free (or close to free) that can help you through the day.
1. Set up reminders to take a break
“[At Humana,] twice a day I get an email that tells me to be mindful and to take a moment to meditate, to stretch or to do yoga and it’s linked to YouTube videos, so right. They don’t want me sitting and stuck at my desk all day zoning out and becoming less productive because I’m in the zone, so twice a day I get an email.”
This takes time, yes, but overall a free alternative and makes you (your company) an ‘accountability partner’ to your employees’ health journeys.
Do some chair yoga! This sound intense, but even just not looking at your computer, or stretching forward while sitting down will do your body some good! Our bodies take so much physical strain from sitting. YES, you heard correctly! Or as Laura would say: “Sitting is the new smoking.”
Now for those who follow me on “the” social media, you know that I don’t waste any time. In the morning, I like to get my blood pumping! Some mornings I spend at The Gym Jax, but in the office, I like to dance…with my office! We usually do the YMCA, we blast the volume, share some laughs.
4. Walk it Out
Bring your phone, don’t bring your phone, whatever you choose, just set a timer to 5 minutes and see how far you can walk away from your desk! Whatever you do, the point is to get those legs moving and your brain a break from going 100MPH all morning/afternoon.
5. Play a Game
Get your office involved, too! Arren was telling me about her college job: she worked at the Dean of Students office and at 2:55pm every day the entire office gathered and would play a game. The games would range from doing icebreakers, light team building activities, and or just being in the room together silent and listening to classical music – just something unrelated to work!
So there they are, 5 free, easy solutions to get your employees happy, healthy, and more productive.
Keep workin’ hard my friends!
To listen to the full conversation, click here.