Well is good: getting started on a cost-effective wellness program at your company.

Author:Sandlin, Eileen Figure
Position:Health Care

Generally speaking, comprehensive wellness programs have three major components: health screenings, health and wellness education and fitness programs. Of the three, screenings are the most important, since they have the potential to uncover potential health risks before they become problems.

One way to detect such risks is by holding regular on-site health fairs. Optimally, such fairs should screen for the eight controllable lifestyle risk factors identified by the Michigan Department of Community Health that contribute to the development of cardiovascular disuse, including smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity, alcohol and drug abuse, poor nutrition and diabetes. After checking key health indicators like weight, blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels, health fair organizers then can provide sage advice about lifestyle changes that can help employees reduce or eliminate their risk.

Health fairs are usually conducted by nurses or other trained medical personnel. If your company is too small to have its own occupational nurse, you can contact an organization like the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan for assistance.

Providing wellness information on a regular basis also should be an important part of a wellness program. Many local hospitals offer wellness materials on topics like smoking cessation, proper nutrition and exercise that can be used to keep employees informed about health issues. Posting health and fitness articles culled from the Internet or fitness magazines on the company bulletin board also can help motivate employees to make better health choices.

Providing opportunities

Finally, providing fitness activities and opportunities is important for any successful wellness program. Many companies have on-site exercise facilities that may be...

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