Tips from the intersection of workers' comp and business.

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It's no secret that healthy employees are good for business.

Healthy employees tend to have fewer sick days and are more focused during their time in the office. These types of employees are a dream, especially considering the costs associated with unhealthy employees.

If you dig into the numbers, they really add up:

A study from the University of Michigan found "the average health care cost for a healthy employee was roughly $3,000, and roughly $10,000 for an employee with at least one medical condition."

But, here's the good news. The same study found that if those employees with existing conditions modified some behavior, health care costs could decrease by about $2,600.

That's a huge impact, both on your employee and the business.

Understanding workplace wellness

It shouldn't come as a big surprise that so many companies are looking at workplace wellness programs. The numbers above make it a solid investment.

But you might not know much about workplace wellness, so let's get that covered first.

A workplace wellness (or employee wellness) program is something a lot of brands do to encourage healthy living at the office. These programs focus on making the workplace a safer place while and can focus on everything from smoking cessation to nutrition and improving ergonomics.

Companies who put a focus on workplace wellness in the last decade or so have seen it pay off. Today, studies show that these programs can both reduce medical costs and improve employee productivity at the same time.

Bringing healthy living to your workplace

So what can you do to encourage workplace wellness in your office?

Here are a few tips to start.

Help employees who want to quit smoking

Smoking cigarettes has a real cost. Employees who smoke are more likely to see negative health impacts due to smoking. Plus decreased productivity and focus from needing to take smoking breaks. All of that adds up and can have an impact on your bottom line.

Fortunately, so does quitting. The American Lung Association (ALA) estimates that "Employers can save nearly $6,000 per year for every employee who quits smoking." Here's where you can help. Groups like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the ALA have programs and resources you can take advantage of to help employees quit.

Re-think nutrition at the office

A lot of offices are a danger zone for anyone trying to eat a bit healthier. It's not uncommon to find people foraging in the kitchen or around the office for sugary sweets and snacks for an afternoon pick me up.

Unfortunately, too much sugar has been proven to lead to 'brain lows' which means half the office could struggle as the day comes to a close. So, scour the office and replace candy with healthy snacks like fruit and nuts. Also get rid of sugary drinks and stock your kitchen with reusable cups to encourage employees to make the shift to water.

Create a wellness working group

Maybe you already have a few wellness warriors in your office. It might be a good idea to tap them to lead a working group to come up with ideas that can improve the overall approach to a healthy lifestyle in your office. Set up a quarterly meeting to keep track of progress.

Fun programs for interested employees could include small healthy challenges such as tracking nutrition or workouts. And, you can combine a positive lifestyle and philanthropy in one by getting a group of volunteers to participate in local races and athletic charity events.

Most of all, care about your employees

While every business depends on the financial numbers, it's the employees who make it a special place.

So, it's important to show them you care about their health and well-being both in work and their home lives too. A workplace wellness program is one way to do that.

Another is ensuring they get protected in case of workplace injuries or illnesses. Cake can help you do that. We're the best source for Colorado workers' comp insurance out there.

Get in touch today, and you can get a quote in just five minutes.