Businesses play an important role in promoting health and reducing the risk of chronic disease. Over 60 percent of Vermont adults employed outside the home are either overweight or obese, and over half have at least one chronic condition. Chronic disease places a significant financial burden on employers in health care costs and lost productivity. Worksite wellness programs help improve the bottom line.
worksite wellness is good for business
- Reduces sick leave absenteeism
- Reduces health care costs
- Decreases workers’ compensation and disability claims
- Saves an average of $5.81 for each dollar spent on wellness
In this video, learn how health programs in Biddeford, Maine, are helping small businesses make simple, affordable changes to improve employee health, staff retention, and the business owner’s bottom line.
The Health Department partners with the Vermont Community Garden Network to support vegetable gardens at worksites. Employees from Black River Good Neighbor Services shared the benefit of their worksite garden, saying, "We produced and ate fresh produce and had exercise on a regular basis while tending the garden. And we worked together on a successful project." Worksite gardens encouraged some employees to plant their own home gardens.
You don't have to be a huge employer to add a worksite wellness program with long-term benefits. Hickock & Boardman's Alison Rogers said, "Our company is small enough to allow all employees to participate in the planning process if they desire. Having employee-driven wellbeing initiatives has led to improvement in nearly all aspects of wellbeing and has had a tremendous positive impact on morale and camaraderie." Employees at the Village of Swanton have access to monthly biometric screenings offered by a health coach to help them reach their individual goals. They also take part in a worksite garden during the summer to increase their vegetable consumption and physical activity.