http://theflyingyogi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/logo-300x233.png 0 0 Inna Miretski http://theflyingyogi.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/logo-300x233.png Inna Miretski2016-08-16 19:27:032016-09-07 20:50:39What Exactly is "Workplace Wellness" and What It Should Be
Ask people what “Workplace Wellness” is and you’ll get a wide array of different answers. For some people, it’s having an endless supply of healthy snacks at the office. For others, it’s all about the standing desks and the exercise ball chairs. I heard a ping-pong table is a thing these days too!
Google offices have it all and more: snacks, standing desks, ping-pong tables and slides, nap rooms and gyms, you name it! You can practically live there. But is it good for you to live in your office, even if it’s amazing beyond imagination?
Wikipedia defines Workplace Wellness as any workplace health promotion activity or organizational policy designed to support healthy behavior in the workplace and to improve health outcomes.
As the founder of UTKATA Yoga – Toronto’s 1st and only 30-minute office chair yoga service – I get to visit many different offices across Toronto and the GTA. And let me tell you, I’ve seen a lot of very different health policies and programs.
I’m happy to say that companies in Toronto do care about their employees. They know that if they take good care of their employees, the employees, in return, will take good care of the company! But the strategies, programs and policies in place vary quite a bit.
For example, most companies offer their employees extensive benefits packages that often include a gym membership or fitness allowance. So, while in theory, employees are free to attend a lunch spinning class or hit the gym right after work, in reality, most people don’t use their benefits.
It begs the question why? Why would anyone not take advantage of a free gym membership? There are many possible reasons. People are incredibly busy and stressed by tight deadlines, they don’t want to “waste” their time during lunch on changing clothes, walking to a gym, sweating, showering, changing back and walking back to the office. People with families often don’t have time before or after work; they need to drop their kids at school in the morning and cook a dinner in the evening.
That is why, in my opinion, every workplace should have an in-office wellness program. A program that is not only effective, but also accessible, convenient and time-efficient. A program that takes place year-round, rather than only during a Health and Wellness Week. A program that will get the employees engaged.
Until that happens, it’s up to the employees to take those initiatives: choose walking meetings over boardroom; choose walking to a healthy lunch place over ordering junk food to your desk; choose walking to a colleague and talking to them rather than emailing them; choose talking to your HR department and ask for a sustainable health program rather than remaining silent. At the end of the day, your health is in your hands. Do something about it.