Wellness programs make happier, healthier employees

Many companies today are offering some type of wellness programs for their employees. Companies are interested in the health of their employees and their well-being. It is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense.

A healthy worksite may result in lower absenteeism, lower health care costs, higher employee morale and a reduction in employee turnover. Wellness programs may also be a plus in employee recruitment.

Wellness program offerings vary from health assessments to gym memberships to nutrition classes to exercise programs, etc. Companies may incentivize the employees with prizes, time off, money, etc. when they accomplish stated goals. It is a win-win situation. The company and the employee are both healthier.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service’s EFNEP — Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program — offers an exciting worksite wellness program entitled “Eat Smart, Move More.” The program is evidence-based and offers a series of hands-on lessons, cooking demonstrations and moving more activities.

EFNEP empowers individuals to make life changes for better health. Some of the information covered includes reading nutrition labels, food safety, getting more fruits and vegetables, making healthy drink choices, saving money at the grocery store and preparing and eating more meals at home.

Best of all, this program is offered for no charge and can easily be a part of your worksite wellness program!

If you would be interested in bringing Eat Smart Move More to your company, please contact Debbie Stephenson at 910-814-6033 or debbies_stephenson@ncsu.edu. You can also call the Richmond County Cooperative Extension office at 910-997-8255.