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Health Equity, Social Determinants of Health and Your Wellness Program

We already know attaining wellness is easier for some people than others. Some attribute it to motivation, others to body shape or genetics.

But what if it’s because of their neighborhood—or the society they live in?

You’ve likely heard the terms “health equity” and “social determinants of health.” As it turns out, paying careful attention to these two things can be key to increasing employee engagement and improving the health and well-being of employees.

5 Health Benefits of Gratitude

Editor's Note: We recently updated this previously published post with new insights.

The holidays are just around the corner, and in the past few years, this season of gratitude has taken on a whole new meaning for families and friends. Despite everything going on in the world, we can always find something to be thankful for, and as it turns out, gratitude can even be a powerful tool to address the mental health of your employees.

4 Tips to Incorporate Volunteer Programs into Your Employee Wellness Program

What if there was an easy way to help your employees stave off depression, increase their life satisfaction, boost their well-being, and even live longer—all while making the world a better place? Including it in your employee wellness program would be a no-brainer, right?

There is such a thing. And it’s not a complicated new diet or a strenuous fitness routine.

It’s volunteering—the simple act of helping others.

The Role of Mindfulness in a Wellness Program

Even though many companies have temporarily closed their office doors and are operating with a remote workforce, work stress hasn’t disappeared. Indeed, it may have gotten worse. Back-to-back Zoom meetings, homeschooling, an overflowing email inbox, and working late nights once the kids go to bed can add up to frazzled employees trying to balance the demands of work and home.

Luckily, employers have access to a tool that has the power to help employees manage stress, increase productivity, and improve their overall sense of well-being, while lowering healthcare expenses and reducing absenteeism. Even better, it hardly costs a thing.

Magic? Nope. It’s mindfulness.

Holistic Wellness: What It Is and How to Promote It

Wellness is more than a single blood pressure reading or the number of miles we logged last week on our Fitbit. Instead, wellness is a complex connection of systems, with each one affecting the next.

Because of this, companies who take a siloed approach to employee wellness, focusing solely on nutrition or fitness, do themselves—and their employees—a huge disservice.

But imagine what could be accomplished when an employer helps their employees not just eat well and better manage health conditions, but also plan for retirement or college, teach stress management and coping strategies, and develop social groups to keep employees feeling connected.

Managing Employee Wellness During the Holiday Season

Taking care of ourselves during the busy holiday season is frequently overshadowed by decorating the house, baking sweets and treats, selecting the perfect gifts, attending party after party, and taking the perfect holiday card photo.

But if we don’t take the time and effort to care for our overall wellness, we may not be able to enjoy the season. So, where do we start?

Helping Hands: The Role of Social Consciousness in a Successful Wellness Program

When it comes to wellness in the workplace, gone are the days of focusing solely on health, nutrition, and fitness. Today’s employees want to see improvements in all areas of their life: emotional, social, financial, purpose, physical, and occupational. 

Employers also understand the value of a well-rounded employee, so they’re implementing multidimensional wellness programs. But they may be surprised to learn that encouraging social consciousness—the understanding that we’re all part of an interrelated community with others—can improve wellness on multiple levels. 

Why Including Families in Wellness Programs Can Skyrocket Employee Success

For better or for worse, we tend to take on the habits and mannerisms of those closest to us—which is why families are such an integral part of our lives. They shape who we are, what we do, how we feel, and even what we eat and drink.

So, when wellness program directors are evaluating possible initiatives to help employees stay on the path to better health and wellness, including the families of employees in those initiatives can be a smart approach.

Promoting Healthy Social Media Use With Wellness Programs

Is there anything social media can’t do? It helps us connect with long-lost family and friends, keep up with current events, share news, follow our favorite celebrities, and find that must-try recipe that everyone’s talking about.

But while it connects us with one another superficially, social media rarely lets us connect in meaningful ways. That’s why it seems the more we use social media, the less happy we become—with social media leading to increased feelings of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and loneliness.

This lowered happiness can easily spill over into the workplace, making it important for corporate wellness programs to address social media use and the negative effects it can have.

The Giving Experiment

Tis’ the season for giving! We hope you’ll give many gifts this holiday season, but the gifts we’re suggesting don’t involve any shopping or pretty packages. It’s in our nature to think BIG when it comes to gift giving this time of year, but we want you to think small -- at least for a moment. To complete the Giving Experiment, you will need two things: a recipient and a small act of kindness. Seems boring and simple? Maybe so, but it’s also extraordinarily powerful.