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Posts Tagged ‘corporate wellness’

Prolonged sitting is linked to a long list of health issues, including lower-back pain and an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Here are seven tips for increasing physical activity in the office.

Contact Energy in Motion to learn how workplace group fitness classes can save time and money. Learn why employees love the convenience of our onsite exercise programs and contact Tiffiny at Energy in Motion to learn how you can bring fitness classes to your workplace. #einmotion

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The warmth of the summer months beckon us to spend time with family and friends outdoors and away from work to enjoy these precious days of sunshine. However, there are challenges to maintaining our mental well-being when these days come. I would like to share with you some facts about working in the summertime, and how you can help your staff feel their best.

Spreading the hours around

A study noted in the Huffington Post found that 26 per cent are not using paid vacation days provided by their employer. The majority of those said it was because they felt they had too much work to do and taking time away would leave them behind in their work. Others are saving their vacation days for emergencies, and still others claimed to not want a vacation. By encouraging staff to take time away, even for a staycation, the benefits in creativity can be reaped when returning with a fresh view and feeling more relaxed. Time away also decreases burnout and subsequently can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Covering for others

According to CMHA Ontario, the summer months of vacation time can be a cause of stress for those filling in for others in their absence. Whether it is on the assembly line or in an office, taking on the job of another, often one that they may have little experience doing, can make those employees feel anxious and stressed. When personal life stressors occur during this time, the pressure at work can seem overwhelming. To make vacations work for everyone, discuss with everyone the upcoming workload so you can plan deadlines around vacation dates. Knowing who is on vacation and when will also help you plan your projects. Ensure staff that is covering for others are clearly aware of new tasks and responsibilities, and check in to see how manageable the workload is while other staff is away.

Seasonal Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder typically affects some in the winter months with shorter and colder days, but there are some individuals who are affected by depression in the summertime. Increased humidity is unbearable for some, who may stay in their air-conditioned home to avoid the heat, and are likely less active as a result. When it’s too hot to cook, many choose to eat out or order in and poor food choices are often made. Changes in routine and schedules can bring on feelings of depression, such as having bored school children or university students now at home. Financial strain with camp and entertainment costs is increased, as well as the costs of going on a destination vacation. Wearing shorts or bathing suits can increase feelings of poor body image, and may inhibit some from joining friends at the beach or poolside. Some signs of summer depression to look for in your staff could include difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, and feelings of anxiety. One way to stave off symptoms of depression is to maintain physical fitness, so encourage employees to use their employee discount at the air-conditioned gym, even for the summer months. Another way to maintain mental wellness is to stay connected, so hosting a BBQ for staff to enjoy each other’s company outside of the workplace and engage with each other in a social environment helps build camaraderie, minimize isolation and enhance work relationships.

I hope you take the time to enjoy your summer, with your co-workers, family and friends!

via Keeping Your Cool in the Workplace this Summer — Charles Benayon

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Understanding that fit, healthy employees lead to fit, healthy companies; employers are searching for effective and sustainable wellness solutions. Energy in Motion provides workplace group exercise classes and wellness seminars, allowing busy people to take a proactive approach to health, fitness and stress management. With the ever-increasing cost of healthcare, improving the overall health of employees by providing cost-effective fitness programs can help improve your bottom line.

Check out first hand how Energy in Motion is making a difference for companies throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“As part of the Borough’ s Employee Wellness Program, Tiffiny of Energy in Motion recently provided an information-packed hour long presentation entitled “Healthy Lifestyle on a Busy Schedule.” Tiffiny spoke on a multitude of important wellness issues, including proper nutrition, fitness and stress reduction. Her engaging presentation led to a spirited discussion between Tiffiny and our employees on a wide range of wellness topics. Following her presentation, Tiffiny provided a copy of her presentation for use by all employees as a reference for healthy living. I would strongly recommend Tiffiny and Energy in Motion for any employee or other group discussion on wellness topics.” Gregory Hart CPM, QPA, Borough Administrator

“If you’re a business in New Jersey looking to implement a stress reduction or wellness program that your employees will appreciate, you’re in good hands with Energy in Motion LLC. Tiffiny, from Energy in Motion LLC, worked with our company to customize a program that fit all of our needs. Tiffiny was able to read our employees and give them just what they needed; a class that focused on meditation, breathing and simple yoga. She taught poses that helped decrease stress and heal body aches after a long work week behind a desk. Try a few classes and show your employees that they can reduce stress in the workplace.”Kristin, Watson Wyatt, HR Generalist

“Working with Tiffiny to reach my weight and health goals has been such a great experience! I find a lot of comfort knowing that my trainer has a great deal of knowledge in her area of expertise, is a person who makes exercising fun, and is someone that I can truly trust with all my health and exercise needs and questions. Taking into consideration my ability, lifestyle and commitment, Tiffiny gave me a great exercise program and nutrition information on an individual level. She also makes exercise a lot of fun, making the whole process even better. Thank you so much Tiffiny for your time, effort and help!” Rana Hemantharaju, Realogy NJ

“As a complete newcomer, I was a little apprehensive when my wife brought up the idea of us taking yoga classes. The private lessons with Tiffiny have been terrific. She has tailored the classes to work at our pace, and each week I feel more flexible, healthy—and I’ve lost weight! Her technique is calming and educational, while I feel motivated to push myself a little more each time. Tiffiny has added years to my life.” Matt, Rockaway, NJ

“Energy in Motion provides personalized training and exercise plans that make it so easy to stay healthy! I work in an office and have a long commute – both good excuses to avoid the exercise I need. But Tiffiny [Energy in Motion] designed a plan that goes everywhere I go and keeps me limber and active year-round. You cannot go wrong with Energy in Motion.” Barbara D., Denville, NJ

“Previous forays into yoga were a waste of time and money. Bought a video. It was too advanced. I fell over. Took a class. The instructor spoke in yoga bumper stickers. I learned nothing. Checked out a yoga studio. The owner was hippy dippy disorganized. I rolled my eyes and left. Worked with Tiffiny of Energy in Motion once. And immediately signed up for more. Each week she helps me gain more strength, flexibility, balance and serenity!” Caroline, White Meadow Lake

“Tiffiny and I work closely on a variety of health & wellness programs and promotions for the employees at our client company. She has conducted several seminars on various exercise topics including “Exercise and Your Heart”. She is a well prepared, well-informed, energetic presenter who interfaces effectively with her audience. I am sure she would do an excellent job for any organization.” Kathleen, MSN, APN-BC, Nurse Practitioner

“Thank you so much for all that you did to make our Health Awareness Month a success! Everyone enjoyed all the presentations you developed for us, especially the meditation session. I’m looking forward to brainstorming some ideas with you for next year’s health awareness program.” Debbie Maruschek, Assistant Director of Human Resources, Federal Business Centers

© 2016 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion

 

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Employers finding wellness programs can be good for a company’s culture — and bottom line

 

By Daria Meoli, January 4, 2016 at 11:45 AM
(PHOTO BY AARON HOUSTON)

When Tiffiny Marinelli founded Energy in Motion, a Rockaway-based business specializing in group exercise instruction and corporate wellness seminars, nearly 20 years ago, she never could have predicted how the demand for her services would change. When she started creating wellness programs in the 1990s, Marinelli worked with big, corporate clients such as AT&T, Lucent and Home Depot to develop wellness perk programs to sweeten the compensation package for employees.

Today, she focuses on the smaller businesses that look to wellness as A way to put a lid on health care costs. “There are many smaller companies with less resources and less ability to drive a culture of wellness within their company,” Marinelli said. The market for corporate wellness products and services has exploded. And with products even Marinelli couldn’t have predicted.

Take The Fruit Guys, a national organic fresh fruit delivery service that started in San Francisco but is expanding rapidly on the East Coast. Drew Dix has been the director of sales development since 2010. According to Dix, who works out of the company’s Maplewood office, The Fruit Guys delivers fresh fruit to more than 4,000 businesses around the country. Dix has had a front-row seat to the emerging wellness trend. “The biggest change we’ve seen is that companies are adopting a new position called a wellness director or a wellness manager, and that did not exist 20 years ago,” he said. “It’s always been in the realm of HR to dictate employee benefits. But the concept of wellness has evolved from a flu shot and an HSA to weight loss, nutrition and fitness programs. That role is still part of HR, but we’ve seen a lot of companies make that a full-time job.”

Companies of all sizes and industries across the state are getting serious about their employee wellness and health improvement programs for many reasons. Healthier employees mean lower insurance rates for employers. More and more companies are designing and implementing health improvement strategies to mitigate the costs of unhealthy employees and avoid the types of high claims that lead to rate hikes. “Health care rates are getting higher and will probably continue to rise,” Marinelli said. “People already are struggling to afford the rates. If you can get employees healthy and you can help them manage their chronic conditions, you will see a huge change in the overall cost of health care benefits.”

In 2014, the Affordable Care Act made wellness a priority for health insurance providers by creating a set of rules mandating providers incentivize corporate wellness programs and reward individuals for engaging in healthy behaviors. Brian Marshall, manager of wellness at the Cranbury-based AmeriHealth, sees the change every day. “The ACA forces us to be creative and inclusive to make sure our wellness incentives are targeting everyone,” he said. “Instead of treating the disease, we want to treat the person. Since the ACA was enacted, there are no costs associated to wellness screenings such as mammograms, colonoscopy and immunizations, and that has opened up preventative care to people who may not have realized it was available before.” AmeriHealth, for example, rewards fitness milestones and healthy behavior by reimbursing individuals for participating in fitness programs, stress management activities, flu shots, dentist visits and parenting classes.

“It’s all self-reported through our online portal, which gets people engaged with managing their own care,” Marshall said. Marshall said he foresees two corporate wellness trends gaining momentum in 2016 .“One trend we are seeing is employer groups are becoming much more active in designing their own programs,” he said. “At one time, corporate clients looked to us as subject matter experts. Now, they look to us as partners in the process and they come to the table with more of an understanding of what most effective strategies for their group would be.”

Marshall also predicts companies will offer more incentives to employees for participating in the wellness programs. These incentives are not just in the form of reduced premiums being passed on to employees, but they will offer time off, better working environments and other perks in exchange for participation. Marinelli has seen the carrot-and-stick approach work for many companies. “Depending on how much money a company has, a wellness program should be incentivized, even if it’s a small amount,” she said.

By way of example, Marinelli said employees might be hesitant about biometric screenings because of privacy concerns. A company should incentivize that initial screening with raffles or gift cards for people who attend. Through the program, the company educates employees on the personal benefits of doing the screening, such as saving a trip to the primary care doctor and getting immediate results. Over time, the company has another screening and promotes it by reminding employees about the positive experience they had at the last screening. But this time, instead of a gift card, you offer to lower their premiums. “It’s a much more effective process than telling employees, ‘If you don’t get this screening, you’ll have to pay more for your premium,’” Marinelli said.

In addition to lowering health care costs, companies continue to leverage wellness as a retention perk. “If you invest in your employees, you get that tangible return as well as less sick days, better morale, (and) higher retention rate,” Dix said. “If you walk into a startup and see pingpong tables and video games, what you are really looking at is a company competing for top talent. Fresh fruit and other wellness perks are also part of an effective retention package.” Marinelli said not all companies are ready to take this approach to wellness. “But, companies that are innovative and can look ahead to see where things are going with regard to health care and they want their companies to survive, they are going to get more serious about wellness,” she said.

Starting an effective wellness program

When a company first launches a wellness program, it’s best to start by dipping a toe in the pool rather than throwing employees into the deep end.
John Gallucci, founder and president of JAG Physical Therapy, an orthopedic physical therapy provider with multiple locations throughout New Jersey, has worked with many corporate clients as part of their employee wellness programs. Gallucchi believes the best way to get started is with educational programs. He says he has led many successful “lunch and learn” sessions on a range of topics, including the health risks of siting all day and how to mitigate them, how to fight dehydration, proper ergonomics and avoiding sports-related injuries. “There are a lot of weekend warriors out there who don’t engage in physical activity all week then go out and play a few pickup games one night and get hurt,” Gallucchi said. “Sports-related injuries contribute to absenteeism and poor productivity.”

Tiffiny Marinelli, founder of Rockaway-based Energy in Motion, suggests kicking off any corporate wellness program with an activity employees will actually look forward to. “If a client is just getting started and they really don’t have a company culture of wellness, the first thing I do is introduce something that is really fun for employees and build on that positive experience,” Marinelli said. “An example could be a stress management program where we bring in a massage therapist, yoga teacher or meditation expert. Other fun ways to get started include a session on how to de-stress at your desk, cooking demonstrations or walking programs.”

Employee wellness is a business strategy and should be treated like one. Marinelli recommends companies establish a mission statement or a business plan for improving the health of their employees. By documenting a plan, businesses can allocate budgets and measure effectiveness of the various aspects of the wellness program.

Marinelli has been in the corporate wellness industry for more than 20 years and said that for a health improvement program to be effective and actually save a money for a company, wellness has to be part of the company culture. “An emphasis on wellness has to come from the top down and executive management has to play a role,” she said. “It’s important that organizational policies promote wellness by encourage healthy choices and educating the employees on health improvement.”

E-mail to: dariam@njbiz.comOn Twitter: @dariameoli

Source: http://www.njbiz.com/article/20160104/NJBIZ01/301049998/resolution-2016-change-of-heart

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profile2A healthy, thriving workforce makes for a healthier business. Investing in the health of employees reduces health cares costs, improves productivity and makes business stronger. According to the CDC, chronic diseases and related lifestyle risk factors are the leading drivers of health care costs for employers: About 86% of full-time workers are overweight or have at least one chronic illness, and those who fall into both categories miss hundreds of millions of days of work each year – resulting in over $153 billion in lost productivity annually. It is no surprise, then, that as of 2014, 73% of small companies and 98% of large companies offered at least one wellness program.

Understanding that fit, healthy employees lead to fit, healthy companies; employers are searching for effective and sustainable wellness solutions. Energy in Motion provides workplace group exercise classes and wellness seminars, allowing busy people to take a proactive approach to health, fitness and stress management. With the ever-increasing cost of healthcare, improving the overall health of employees by providing cost-effective fitness programs can help improve your bottom line.

A Society of Human Resource Management survey of 450 employers found 17 percent of employers offer on-site corporate fitness classes, up from 14 percent the year before. Our on-site group fitness classes bring exercise right to your workplace so you can save time and money. Exercising on-site is convenient and eliminates excuses for people not to be physically fit. Employees also associate exercise with fun, friendship and camaraderie which not only improves their health, but also reduces stress and reflects stronger relationships during the work day. Group exercise classes can be a great tool to keep fitness fresh and help employees maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Contact Tiffiny at Energy in Motion for more information.

© 2015 Energy in Motion

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EIM Yoga ClassWe all know how illness and injury costs your company time, energy, and a lot of money. So naturally business owners and managers want to incorporate healthy living and activities to ensure employee health and happiness, which brings about subsequent increased productivity. There are several steps towards promoting well-being and healthy lifestyles that you can take to move your company and employees forward:

  • Offer on-site physical fitness or exercise facilities and/or activities. Having a gym or providing fitness classes gets your employees taking better care of themselves right away. Exercising on-site is convenient and eliminates excuses for people not to be physically fit. They also associate exercise with fun, friendship and camaraderie which not only improves their health, but also reflects stronger relationships during the work day.
  • Provide courses and seminars that are educational in nature. From healthy cooking and portion sizes to types of exercise and goal setting, seminars can help boost employee knowledge. Increased motivation and starting a healthy lifestyle discussions are other natural consequences which can prove tremendously important in developing a community of support.
  • Provide stretch breaks for employees. Stretch breaks are important and contribute to mental health and stability which have a direct impact on physical health and immune support. When employees have to work too long without a break, the mental toll it can take may result in burnout, turnover, unhappiness, and job dissatisfaction.
  • Allow for sick days and then permit your employees to use theirs without any guilt! When an employee comes to work sick, every other employee is at risk of developing the illness and most will get sick at about the same time, putting you as the employer in quite a bind. Some people are blessed with strong immune systems and will use few if any days. Others may be more likely to fall ill frequently and will feel even more obligated to force themselves into work; this not only puts others at risk but also lessens the employee’s capacity to recover and get back to work full-time.
  • Limit stress in the workplace…as much as possible. Obviously, most work days and places are stressful. From an ER nurse to the social worker to the sales clerk dealing with ill-tempered customers all day, the work day takes its toll. Increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, obesity, poor immune function, etc all result from too much stress and too little stress relief. Try to incorporate some team-building activities, potluck lunches, the occasional random afternoon off, and you’ll see results.

Work is hard enough – people need employers that are there for them as well as the customers or clients. Even the smallest companies can incorporate some of these changes and begin the process. Promoting a healthy lifestyle at work, where people spend the vast majority of their waking hours, is an absolute must.

Contact Energy in Motion to find out how you can improve the health and well-being at you company.

Tiffiny Marinelli, MS, CWPC

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