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Workplace Wellness: Best Practice Model

Why Workplace Wellness?

Over sixty percent of the population is in the workforce and they spend much of their waking day during a typical week working as well as commuting to and from their workplace. The competing demands of today's life means there is less time and energy to be engaged in health promoting behaviours leading to physical, mental and emotional health issues. The majority of an employer’s (BC Stats, 2009) benefits costs are incurred the following disease categories: cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive, cancer and stress.  Due to the amount of time spent at work, the work site is a great place to influence a large portion of the population.

Healthier employees result in:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved employee morale
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Lower turnover rates
  • Lower health-care claims/ costs

What is a Best Practice Approach to Workplace Wellness?

A comprehensive approach consists of elements from the following categories:

  1. Health Practices - enabling and supporting healthy lifestyles, behaviours and coping skills.
  2. Physical Environment - addressing the health and safety of the worksite.
  3. Social Environment and Personal Resources - enhancing the culture of an organization.

Each of the 3 categories involves a variety of strategies across the following areas:

  • Increasing awareness and education
  • Assisting behaviour change and skill building
  • Providing a health promoting environment
  • Mobilizing and building capacity

Steps Towards a Best Practice Model for Workplace Wellness

The following steps are instrumental for a success:

  • Serious commitment and involvement from senior management.
  • All levels of staff are involved with planning.
  • The focus is on the employee’s needs.     
  • Use of on-site experts and facilities.
  • The mission, vision, values and goals are supported by policy.
  • Integration of lifestyle choices, social conditions and work environment.
  • Individualized to the needs of the worksite.
  • Ongoing evaluation of key indicators, measures and outcomes.
  • Long term planning and commitment.

Last Reviewed: December 2016

© 2016 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with a health professional. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.