Preventing disease is an ever-present consideration among corporate wellness professionals, and it’s a mighty task.
Protecting your staff members from disease is not only a loft goal but an impossible one: No matter how effective the steps you take to create a culture composed of healthy, wellness-minded individuals, you can’t control all the factors that lead to disease and other health problems.
But that’s not to say you can’t make a difference, and a big one, when it comes to preserving their health to the best degree possible. The key lies in spreading awareness and getting across the importance of protecting oneself from diseases that can steal away quality of life as well as life itself.
So, as with so many other wellness issues, you do what you can by providing your employees with the information, tools, tips, and resources to make lifestyle changes that will give them the best odds of avoiding medical stumbling blocks. And you hope for the best.
It may seem like an overwhelming mission, to educate, influence, and guide a group of people to make choices and changes in the way they eat, sleep, work, move, and live, in order to preserve good health or decrease the risks of developing health problems.
Start with one topic, cover it completely, and go from there. You can address the topic via mass e-mail, or, for a captive-audience approach, call a meeting. Just make sure to begin with something that is relevant to most people present.
For instance, if obesity is a problem on your staff, you might choose to focus first on heart disease and the effects of weight on the chances of developing it. Share statistics and general information on heart disease, then offer tips on weight loss, starting a fitness regimen, and heart-healthy eating.
If you have smokers on staff, tackle lung disease early on, including the frightening stats and pointing out a solution in the form of nicotine-cessation programs, support groups, and doctors’ assistance.
It’s not your job to save the world, or even your employees. But knowing that you can effect change in their health and ultimately in their lives? That’s a great reason to keep trying.
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