Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Reducing the Health and wellness disparities among black and brown communities needs to be prioritized. Health, wellness, and self care services/programs can support and improve individuals quality of life as well as provide numerous benefits for more productive, constructive, and loving communities as well as workplace environments.
Studies have shown that health & wellness programs aid in reducing stress, decreasing illness, job related injuries, lowering company health care costs, improving employee performance, building a positive team environment, as well as attraction and retention of employees.
The benefits of self care massage, mindfulness practices, group fitness or one on one health and education programs include:
Releasing accumulated tension, easing muscle pain and headaches.
Preventing strain and repetitive motion injuries.
Lowering blood pressure and respiratory rate, improving function of heart and lungs.
Calming the nervous system and balancing neural activity for improved mental health.
Increasing blood flow, improving alertness and mental acuity.
Boosting immune systems, resulting in less sick days.
Increasing quality of sleep so that employees arrive refreshed.
Lifting morale and encouraging team building.
Enhancing self-esteem and self-confidence.
Motivating employees to take better care of their health.
The American Journal of Cardiology reports a study of a random sample of 185 workers and their spouses who received cardiac rehabilitation and exercise training. Of those classified as high risk when the study started (according to body fat, blood pressure, anxiety, and other measures), 57% were converted to low-risk status by the end of the six-month program. Of those employees who participated, average medical claim costs decreased by 48% compared to the previous year. Therefore, every dollar invested in the wellness program returned $6 in health care savings. (Milani, Richard V. and Lavie, Carl J. “Impact of Worksite Wellness Intervention on Cardiac Risk Factors and One-Year Health Care Costs.” November 2009).
A study by The Touch Research Institute of the University of Miami found that in a group of employees who were given 20 minute chair massages twice a week showed less anxiety and lower levels of stress hormones, as well as more alertness and mental acuity after the massage than before. (Health, October 1995, Katherine Griffin).
Bowling Green State University concluded that one 15-minute massage per week reduced employee anxiety levels, leading to "better morale, improved productivity, better decision-making and ultimately better performance.” (Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, June 1996).
Harvard Business Review examined existing research and studied 10 organizations whose wellness programs have systematically achieved measurable results, concluding that wellness programs prove to be more than “a nice extra,” rather a strategic way to “chip away at enormous health care costs, which are only rising with an aging workforce.” For example, over 6 years, MD Anderson Cancer Center was able to decrease lost work days by 80% and modified-duty days by 64%. Calculated cost savings totaled $1.5 million and workers’ comp insurance premiums declined by 50%. (“What’s The Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?” December 2010 Issue).