Use Your Wellness Dollars for a Post-Pandemic Push
Happiness and overall health and wellbeing have declined amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey, 67% of adults have experienced increased stress levels during the pandemic. Among Americans, this resulted in less time spent on health and wellness activities.
The 2021 Working Americans’ State of Physical Wellbeing Report stated that 46% of employees reported decreased physical exercise, 49% reported being more sedentary, and 48% reported increased consumption of salty, sweet, or fatty foods. At the same time, those in the survey reported a 50% increase in TV/video-watching and a 25% increase in the use of alcohol or drugs.
Although not surprising that the pandemic added stress to our lives, the current trends are alarming. To prevent burnout and regain energy, we all need to get back on track with health and wellness initiatives, especially ones that help employees strike a work-life balance.
Working at home blurred the lines between work life and home life—and it shows. Employees have worked odd hours, taken calls while helping children with online school, and have created makeshift offices in bedrooms. This has all led to less time spent on physical and emotional wellbeing.
Wellness Dollars: 3 Things to Consider
To better prioritize health and wellness, your employees need accessible tools, and they need to feel supported. Company wellness dollars are a great place to start.
As you may know, wellness dollars are funds that some insurance providers offer to reimburse the investment in your health programs. The ultimate goal of wellness dollars is to help improve the overall health and wellbeing of your employees.
Wellness dollars can be put to work in a variety of ways, from gym memberships to relaxation services to dietary planning. When thinking about how to wisely use your wellness dollars, keep in mind these three considerations. Your choices should:
Offer holistic support. The first consideration is finding a solution that offers holistic support across multiple areas such as activity, sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness or stress management. This will help drive the biggest impact for your employees. Reducing stress, through various relaxation methods, will help to improve overall energy levels. This can lead to better performance in the workplace.
Provide a digital, around-the-clock experience. This second consideration is key, because often support is needed outside of working hours. So the concept of 24/7 support is critical.
Be personalized and flexible. Aim to meet the individual where they are, at that very point of interaction. Make sure you have a multi-faceted, adaptable solution in place, the components of which you can dial up and dial down as needed.
These components are the foundation of health and wellbeing, and they are all interconnected. Before brushing off lack of motivation as COVID-fatigue, consider how increased physical activity or regular relaxation can affect energy levels. Use these factors to help employees take control of their health and wellbeing and aim to turn the statistics around.
Using Wellness Dollars on Wearables
Employees have struggled with the work-life balance for years, even before the pandemic. Finding a health and wellness program that supports a distributed workforce and prioritizes the key components of physical and emotional wellbeing can be a challenge.
Consider solutions like Fitbit Care which helps drive healthy behavior change across physical activity, nutrition, sleep, and stress management. This personalized health experience, comprised of Fitbit devices and Fitbit Premium – our digital health and wellness membership – can help motivate your employees to make positive lifestyle changes.
Wellness dollars are the perfect opportunity to help your employees recalibrate their health and wellness. Whether the Fitbit experience or another incentive program, ensure your wellness dollars are being utilized on tools and resources that are going to support your employees through what may continue to be challenging times.