Health and wellness programs are organized initiatives that aim to improve a person's physical, emotional, and mental health. Companies, local and state governments, and insurance companies may offer incentive-based wellness programs to promote the health of their employees, the public, or insured persons. These programs can include company-sponsored exercise and quit smoking programs, nutrition and fitness programs, smoking cessation, weight loss education, fitness challenges, therapy, and many other plans designed to improve a person's overall health. Corporate wellness programs can also provide employees with access to quality health care, promote a lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and adequate exercise, and encourage a positive mental attitude.
Wellness programs come in all shapes and sizes. Employers can provide information in a variety of formats such as wellness videos, brochures, health-related questionnaires, and bulletin boards. Senior centers can also offer wellness programs that include many of the same activities found in an employee wellness program. Workplace wellness programs not only combat the rising trend of unhealthy employees but they also reduce health care costs and insurance premiums.
Virtual doctor visits, after-hours care from a qualified nurse, or access to health and wellness tools powered by WebMD are some of the benefits that employers can offer their employees. The American Institute for Preventive Medicine reports that 91% of today's organizations have a health and wellness program compared to 78% a decade ago. All Optima Health plans have exclusions and limitations on benefits and terms under which the policy can continue in effect or be discontinued. Some people argue that tracking cholesterol, body mass index, and other numbers leads to de facto discrimination and a heavier financial burden for workers with below-average health.
Health and wellness programs are an effective way for employers to support their employees on their journey to better health. From cooking classes to gym memberships, health screenings, on-campus massage therapists, and subsidized counseling sessions, these initiatives provide support when employees are in difficult emotional or physical situations that affect both their health and work.