A study led by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center found that swapping just 30 minutes of sedentary time with activity – regardless of intensity – makes for better health and lowers the risk of early death.
So apart from reminding your colleagues to walk more, sit less, here are the top workplace health trends we've captured in our conversations with industry practitioners:
Integrated and individualised wellness experience
Gopa Das, HR Business Partner, NatWest Markets, shares her personal take on the topic: "An integrated health and wellness experience will become a key tool in the war for talent. Creating employee experiences driven by choice, personalisation/differentiation and technology will be non-optional."
However, she admits that increasing cost is also a reality and employers will need to proactively create an environment of preventive rather than intervention based health and wellness.
"To achieve all or any of this, leveraging technology and data will be non-negotiable," she affirms.
Facilities and benefits to juggle work-life
Confirming that employee health and wellness is a trend that is becoming a standard in the workplace, is Kathryn Woof, Managing Director, 33Talent, citing benefits such as subsidised gym membership, and even the whole physical design of an office created to ensure the wellness of staff.
"This includes healthy snacks, fruit water, exercise classes in the office, and features such as internal staircases to encourage people to walk between floors rather than taking the lift," she says.
"There are other additions in the health and wellness space, such nursing rooms for pumping mothers, or extended paternity leave which are a nod to the wellness of employees’ homelife and ability to juggle work with busy family lives," Woof adds.
Mental health, mindfulness and meditation
Alongside physical wellness, mental health programmes are rapidly gaining traction with 55% of employers surveyed in Wellable's new whitepaper planning on investing more into these types of programmes. Only 3% are planning to invest less.
Similarly, mindfulness and meditation programmes are directed towards alleviating stress, a major cause of mental health concerns for employees. The popularity of these practices in the consumer market are impacting investment in these services, resulting in 53% of employers expecting to invest more.
Top criteria when evaluating vendors
From Wellable's whitepaper, another key finding was around how employers evaluate vendors. Two things are clear: (i) pricing is and remains the top criteria and (ii) customer testimonials and domain expertise don’t really matter that much in the US, where the survey was conducted.
While 83% percent of employers feel pricing was a top three criteria when evaluating vendors, but very few felt customer testimonials (6%) and domain expertise (10%) were in the top three considerations. Flexibility and customisability is the second highest ranked criteria.
The remaining criteria, which include customer service, innovation, and reporting, were effectively equally considered. Employer size did play a factor in the importance of these criteria.
Details shared below: