The 61st annual World Health Assembly is taking place this week in Geneva,
Switzerland and at this assembly; the World Health Organization (WHO) is presenting
its report titled “Preventing Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) in the Workplace
through Diet and Physical Activity.”
The report calls for Employee Wellness Programs to be promoted and implemented
Importance of Employee Wellness Programs
The report notes that Non-Communicable Disease related deaths have surpassed
transferable disease related deaths and have become the leading global killers.
Examples of Non-Communicable Disease’s are heart disease, diabetes and
stroke. In 2005, 60% of worldwide projected deaths were caused by non-communicable
diseases. They are predicting that this health trend will continue through at
Diet, caloric intake, lack of physical activity and tobacco use are the major
risk factors in the cause of Non-Communicable Disease’s. Now more than
ever, the understanding of the importance of health and wellness is crucial.
Employee Wellness Programs are Effective Tools
The report notes that Employee Wellness Programs are found to be effective
in improving health-related risk factors, such as obesity, heart disease and
diabetes. The report also notes that Employee Wellness Programs will improve
the health of workers, improve the business image, improve staff member morale,
reduce staff member absences and sick leave, increase staff member productivity,
and reduce business health care costs.
Employee Wellness Programs Monitoring
Finally, the report mentions that to have a successful Employee Wellness Program,
monitoring and evaluation through Health risk assessments and health outcomes
are essential and should be included in the Employee Wellness Plan implementation.
The evaluations ensure that the Employee Wellness Plan developed meets the proper
needs of the workers. Workers should be reevaluated on an on-going basis to
make sure the Employee Wellness Plan is still working, or to see if there are
any adjustments that need to be made.