As human beings, the bible states that God created us in his own image and likeness in order for us to rule over the fish of the seas, the birds of the air, over the livestock and all animals (Gen 1:26). This particular verse in the bible emphasizes that the reason for God, creating man in his own image, that is, including God’s own physical attributes and bodily image is for man to do his work, which is “to rule”. This interestingly justifies the fact that God himself is concerned with the way men care for themselves, especially their bodies which were provided for by the Supreme Being in order for men to properly function in this physical world (Walters & Byl, 2008). God, therefore, is the giver of all things that men need in order to survive. He provides them physical bodies in order to do work, food to eat, shelter and other basic necessities that men need daily. However, proper caring for the physical body no longer rests on the hands of God but on men themselves. This is precisely the reason why the bible strongly advocates proper care for the human body as a responsibility of every human being (Walters & Byl, 2008).
Unfortunately, however, because of work responsibilities and other factors that influence the lifestyles of people, most of them tend to forget the methods and practice of giving proper care for their bodies (Lee, et al., 2010). On the other hand, there are also some responsible organizations in the society which strictly adopt and implement health, fitness and wellness programmes for the benefit of specific individuals and groups of people. According to Lee, et al., (2010), in the recent years, the healthcare sector in the United States has become more aggressive in promoting the value of wellness programmes in the workplace. In fact, the healthcare sector in the United States has set a good example by practicing certain methods in promoting the wellness of its own people to achieve a higher level of workplace health (Lee, et al., 2010; Silberman, 2007).
Wellness Programs in the Workplace
Wellness programs in the workplace have become quite popular in the recent years as evidenced by the increasing number of organizations in the United States which adopted and made significant workplace investments in promoting the health, fitness and wellness of their employees (Silberman, 2007; Lee, et al., 2010). Interestingly, for many corporations and business enterprises in the United States, the adoption and implementation of wellness programs are important investments that must be prioritized as these create a stronger and more effective workforce (Silberman, 2007). In a report published by the Healthy Workforce, about 90% of the firms and corporations in the US were recognized as actively implementing a form of wellness or health promotion program. In addition, about 61% of the American employees participate in these various wellness and health promotion programs in their respective workplaces (Silberman, 2007; Lee, et al., 2010).
According to Lee, Blake, & Lloyd (2010), many business organizations invested in wellness programs for their employees as for them, it is a good business strategy intended to strengthen and increase the effectiveness of their workforce. In addition, they also saw wellness programs as a means for addressing the continuously rising insurance costs in the country (Silberman, 2007; Lee, Blake, & Lloyd, 2010). Moreover, many business organizations also saw the benefits and advantages of implementing wellness programs in their specific organizations as while this entails a huge investment on their part, they are certain that improved wellness among their employees would benefit back the organization as it would lead to reduced instances of absenteeism, increased productivity and improved job satisfaction among employees as well as an enhanced corporate image (Trudeau, Deitz, & Cook, 2002; Lee, Blake, & Lloyd, 2010).
Despite the fact that the process of designing and adopting comprehensive wellness programs in the workplace proves to be a fairly expensive initiative, such programs are cost-effective on the part of the organizations that invest on it (Silberman, 2007). This is primarily because well programs promote an active and healthy lifestyle for all employees, encouraging them to maintain and improve their well-being and prevent the occurrence of diseases and illnesses. Moreover, such programs assess the health risks of the participants and feed employees with specific lifestyle management tips and educational knowledge on how to improve their health and lower their risks for acquiring illnesses (N1HCM, 2011). Furthermore, wellness programs also teach people to become more aware of and responsible for the choices they make when it comes to their lifestyles. Since wellness is a dynamic process, this concept also enables people to optimize and integrate their mental and physical functions with their spiritual aspects, thereby allowing them to fulfill their responsibility of caring for their physical bodies (N1HCM, 2011; Walters & Byl, 2008).
To conclude, the important act of caring for the human body has been placed in the hands of men with whom the bible has placed this huge responsibility (Walters & Byl, 2008). Fortunately, in the recent years, many business organizations in the United States recognized the importance of wellness programs which are designed to optimize and integrate the people’s mental and physical aspects with their spiritual functioning to make them more effective in fulfilling their daily work responsibilities and tasks (Lee, Blake, & Lloyd, 2010). Apparently, many business organizations saw the importance of designing and adopting wellness programs designed specifically for employees as they see it as an important investment that is purely cost-effective. Not only did business organizations saw wellness programs as an opportunity to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for all employees, but also as an investment that would lead to less absenteeism, increased productivity and improved job satisfaction among employees and also an enhanced corporate image for the organization (Trudeau, Deitz, & Cook, 2002; Lee, Blake, & Lloyd, 2010). Moreover, wellness programs are designed to evaluate and measure the health risks of the employees as well as feed them with specific lifestyle management tips that would make them more effective in performing their functions even outside of work (Silberman, 2007).
Lee, S., Blake, H., & Lloyd, S. (2010). The price is right: making workplace wellness financially sustainable. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 3 (1), 58-69.
N1HCM. (2011). Building A Stronger Evidence Base For Employee Wellness Programs. N1HCM Foundation.
Silberman, R. (2007). Workplace Wellness Programs: Proven Strategy Or False Positive?. Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, 4, 1-8.
Trudeau, J., Deitz, D., & Cook, R. (2002). Utilization and cost of Behavioral Health Services: Employee Characteristics and Workplace Health Promotion. Journal of Behavioral Health Science and Research, 29, 1-8.
Walters, P. & Byl, J. (2008). Christian Paths to Health and Wellness. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.