Nowadays, organizations recognize their workforce as their greatest asset and understand the significance of investing in employee wellness. Investing in employee wellness helps to manage health costs, enhance productivity and boost employee morale. May is celebrated as Global Employee Health and Fitness month (GEHFM). Created by two non-profit organizations, the National Association for Health & Fitness and ACTIVE Life, the main objective behind the observance of GEHFM is to help organizations promote a healthy lifestyle for their employees at their workplace.
Earlier, the National Association for Health & Fitness designated just a single day celebration for employee wellness. During the period 1989 – 2010, more than tens of thousands of employees observed the National Employee Health and Fitness Day. However, it was quite clear that more time was required for healthy behavior to convert into healthy lifestyle habits. It was later in the year 2011 that NAHF and ACTIVE Life jointly decided that a full month-long initiative starting from May 1st – 31st would give an international focus to the event, promoting healthier lifestyles and sustainable behavior change worldwide.
How Global Employee Health and Fitness month (GEHFM) Celebration Benefits Organizations and Employees
By observing Global Employee Health and Fitness month (GEHFM), employers challenge their employees to develop specific and unique health goals for themselves. They encourage employees to form groups focused on promoting a specific health goal. Or, they are encouraged to develop a work-sponsored health project.
The global employee health and fitness month celebration can bring new life to an already existing wellness program or generate interest in initiating a new program at the organization. Worksite wellness programs benefit organizations in the following ways –
- Enhance employee productivity
- Lower rates of illness and injuries
- Reduce employee absenteeism
- Improve healthcare cost management
GEHFM offers employees an innovative platform to learn and incorporate wellness at their workplace. Some of the main benefits associated with the wellness programs offered by employers include –
- Reduce weight
- Raise health awareness
- Lower employee stress levels
- Increase physical fitness
- Boost self-image and self-esteem
As part of this one month long celebration, employees have the opportunity to enroll in different health benefit programs that provide access to the services of a trained health coach. A trained health coach helps employees to effectively manage chronic conditions, provides health and wellness information and personalized coaching and lifestyle management programs such as smoking cessation, stress management, pain management and weight loss programs. Participants will have the opportunity to update their activities (throughout the month) at the GEHFM website, thereby enabling employers to track, share and promote their individual and group activities.