Employers want their employees to know about health options but, most importantly, be able to use them.
Poet Virgil wrote, “the greatest wealth is health.” While coverage and quality are considered top health goals, many Americans evaluate their experience with the U.S. system as unsatisfactory. Employers want to help customers be more aware of their choices and informed when making decisions about their health.
The American Heart Association (AHA) is a leading advocate of comprehensive programs to deal with the following issues:
- Prevention of cardiovascular disease;
- Prevention and cessation of smoking;
- physical exercise;
- nutrition education;
- stress management/reduction;
- managing weight and
- screening and early detection.
Other features may include direction regarding effective health care system use, back pain prevention/management, alcohol, and substance abuse assessment, adult vaccination, and maternal and infant health education.
The Office of Minority Health (OMH) acknowledges that “cultural competence is among the key elements to close the gap between minorities and whites in health healthcare.” When designing a health wellness program, culture and language have an impact on:
- the way health conditions and their causes of them are perceived;
- Workplace wellness beliefs;
- attitudes towards health professionals;
- the behavior of consumers;
- Health services are provided.
In a report published in Family & Community Health, “culturally relevant and appropriate programs should be designed for engaging economically challenged minority and other populations that are underserved.”
Check out The Dow Chemical Company. The Dow Chemical Company’s program for wellness and health throughout South Africa and Latin America has been focused on reducing health risks and taking care of the long-term prevention of HIV/AIDS. The significant increase in longevity and decreased levels of HIV demonstrate the success of Dow’s.
When companies search for effective ways to reduce costs and satisfy their employees’ health requirements, they receive a range of other health and fitness estimates. The wellness programs offered at work differ, not just financially but also in how each is designed to address the health needs of the employees.
Do not forget to keep a check on the basics and think about how family, community, and work influence employees and business policies. The health and wellness plan should address health concerns using these lenses too.