Newsroom > DHHS News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2014
Leah Bucco-White, Communications and Legislative Services, 402-471-9356, firstname.lastname@example.org
DHHS Releases New Wellness Toolkit for Businesses
Lincoln – The Worksite Wellness Toolkit is a new online resource for Nebraska businesses wanting to implement employee wellness programs. Developed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the toolkit is free and takes a step-by-step approach to help employers start or expand wellness programs for their employees.
Included in the toolkit are how-to guides, case studies, wellness policies and surveys…all useful tools in worksite wellness. The Worksite Wellness Toolkit is on the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ website at www.worksitewellness.ne.gov
Promoting wellness in the workplace makes sense for many reasons. Americans spend around 36 percent of their total waking hours at work, and that makes workplaces prime venues for promoting and supporting healthy lifestyles. In Nebraska, the top six health issues that negatively impact worksites are stress, obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol and drugs, tobacco use and poor nutrition, based on preliminary data from the 2013-2014 Nebraska Worksite Wellness Survey set to be released this summer.
“The Worksite Wellness Toolkit is a great way for Nebraska employers to promote and implement wellness in their organizations,” said Gov. Dave Heineman. “Prevention and wellness efforts in the workplace produce higher productivity, better employee satisfaction and help control health care costs. We have many Nebraska businesses that have successfully implemented comprehensive wellness efforts and have been awarded the Governor’s Wellness Award. Over 170 organizations have received the award from across the state and the numbers continue to grow as more Nebraska companies develop worksite wellness programs. This Toolkit is an excellent guide for a business to be successful.”
Employees can be the greatest asset to a business, and research shows employers are interested in worksite wellness programs. Approximately 55 percent of employers already use worksite wellness programs to improve employee health, according to a recent national survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. Of those, 85 percent were interested in expanding or improving their worksite wellness programs over the next three years.
“Unhealthy employees require more medical care, take more sick days and are less productive on the job,” said Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “A worksite wellness program can inspire employees to take responsibility for their own health. A program encourages employees with health risk factors to make lifestyle changes to improve their quality of life and keeps employees with fewer risk factors on the right track with their health.”
There are also a lot of great tips sprinkled throughout the Toolkit and ways for businesses to connect to local experts – such as the three worksite wellness councils: WorkWell, Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELCOM), and the Panhandle Worksite Wellness Council or local health departments for information and assistance.