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Updated by IoT MPLS on Jan 27, 2017
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Categories of Wellness Programs

Wellness incorporates all aspects of health, including the physical, mental, spiritual and environmental. Wellness programs are those that work to positively influence these areas of a person's life to improve overall health and well-being.


Weight Loss and Nutrition

Weight Loss and Nutrition

Physical health and a reduced risk of chronic disease are related to maintaining a healthy weight and eating nutritious foods. Therefore, many wellness programs focus on these components. Biggest loser competitions in work places or within the community encourage participants to lose weight through group support and rewards. Typically, these programs meet weekly and host a weigh-in. At the end of an 8- or 12-week program the person losing the highest percentage of his body weight wins. Lunch and Learn classes or cooking classes educate participants about proper nutrition and health through seminars offered during convenient times of the day.


Physical Activity

Physical Activity

Wellness programs focusing on physical activity exist for the same reason as those that deal with weight loss and nutrition---to reduce the risk of chronic disease. There are two different types of physical activity programs that fall in this category.

The first are exercise tracking programs and competitions. These programs encourage participants to keep track of their exercise and compete with other teams to meet daily exercise recommendations.

The second type is the availability of fitness facilities or the offering of exercise classes. A business may provide a fitness facility on-site for its employees or work with area fitness centers to provide discounts on memberships. In addition, group exercise classes or walking and running groups held before work, at lunch or after work also fall into this category. All of these types of programs help to promote physical activity and health among employees and members of the community.

Other Elements of Physical Wellness Programs May Include...

  • Onsite fitness classes
  • Ergonomic work stations or stretch breaks
  • Promoting use of stairwell vs. elevator
  • Flexible time off for physical activity
  • Walking meetings
  • Biking/running maps of vicinity
  • Access to lockers, showers, bike racks
  • Onsite preventive screenings
  • Fitness fairs
  • Inter-department competitions
  • Sport-specific training seminars (ski preparation, running, cycling, stretching)
  • Walking/pedometer program
  • Company picnic with "field day" component
  • Reimbursement or incentives for gym membership
  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Community runs
  • Cycling events

Smoking Cessation

Smoking Cessation

According to the American Heart Association, 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes. Because of smoking's influence on so many people and because it is linked to many conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure and lung cancer, smoking cessation programs are one of the most common wellness programs made available. Many employee wellness initiatives include a smoking cessation program because it can lead to lower health care costs for the corporation. Many businesses and community groups adopt already available resources to host smoking cessation programs, such as Freedom From Smoking from the American Lung Association. These programs typically involve setting a quit date and enlisting the support of friends and family. Classes that involve analyzing past failures, setting new goals and identifying the importance of quitting are often offered.


Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

One of the most influential factors in productivity at the workplace is the ability for a person to maintain a work-life balance. Stresses from one or the other can affect a person's performance as both an employee and as a mother, father, wife or husband. Work-life balance programs can consist of seminars or actual services to employees. For example, guidance for seeking child care, elder care, time management and controlling stress are all topics that fall under this category. In addition, employers may offer financial assistance for care or flexibility in work schedules.


Spiritual Wellness Programs

Spiritual Wellness Programs

Spiritual Wellness Programs May Include

  • Community activities
  • Meditation workshops
  • "What is Spiritual Health" workshop
  • "Random Acts of Kindness" campaign
  • Charge admission to wellness program by requiring participants to bring can of food or other donation to local charity

Intellectual Wellness

Encourage personal development through training/classes
Mental fitness activities
Book/article discussion sessions
Speakers on intellectual topics to stretch the mind
Quiz bowls or trivia contests
Distribute articles highlighting importance of mental fitness



Sponsor community events
Hold a "work and families day" where families can tour the worksite
Discussion groups for specific topics of interests
Team building activities
Mentor program
Create teams using representatives from different departments



Work safety initiatives
Reward and recognition programs
Ergonomic evaluations
Stretch breaks
Wellness program overview in New Hire Orientation
Daily or weekly wellness tips
Career development seminars or tips
Emergency preparedness
CPR training



Stress management program
Journaling workshops
Employee Assistance Program
Support groups




We may not think much about Environmental Wellness as part of an overall wellness plan, but our environment and how we feel about it can have a huge impact on the way we feel overall.
Environmental well-being includes trying to live in harmony with the Earth by understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action to protect the world around you. Protecting yourself from environmental hazards and minimizing the negative impact of your behavior on the environment are also central elements.
Leading a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment and minimizes any harm done to it is a critical part of environmental wellness. Examples of environmental threats include air pollution, ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight, chemicals, noise, water pollution, and second-hand smoke.
Achieving Environmental Wellness
Environmental wellness involves a number of different aspects of personal and societal responsibilities, including:
Being aware of the earth's natural resources and their respective limits
Living a life accountable to environmental needs, both in the present and in the long-term
Realizing the effects of their daily habits on the world around them
Are you engaged in the process of environmental wellness?
Do I recycle?
If I see a safety hazard, do I take the steps to fix the problem?
Do I volunteer time to worthy causes?
Am I aware of my surroundings at all times?
If you answered "No" to any of the questions, it may indicate an area where you need to improve the state of your environmental wellness.