Women’s Health in the Workplace
By Juli Simpson, Health Educator
Let’s face it…when you feel better, you work better. Whether it’s at home or in the workplace and you feel good, you’re also usually more productive, have more energy, clearer thoughts, and are more likely to stay on-task.
Years ago, women accounted for only a small percentage of the paid workforce in the US. Now, that percentage is much closer to half. While good health is undoubtedly important for all, it can’t be ignored that women and men face different health risks and problems. For example, the health needs and concerns of a 25 year old female employee can be very different than that of a 65 year old male.
Much of our health is based on lifestyle choices outside of the workplace, but what about while AT the worksite? A healthy workplace that promotes health and fosters healthy behaviors can lead to better health and wellbeing of its employees, and can also result in saving a business money: decreased absences, increased productivity, less turnover, lower insurance and worker’s comp costs, etc. On the flip side, poor health, unhealthy behaviors, and stressors can lead to accidents, reduced productivity or individuals leaving the workforce.
Some businesses make worksite wellness a big deal and devote a lot of time and resources to those initiatives, like on-site massage therapy, healthy snack carts, paid gym memberships and scheduled walking breaks. But not all businesses can do that, especially small businesses. A worksite can help foster employee health just by promoting positive health behaviors and self-care. Some examples include on-site health screenings, educational signs in the restrooms, posting tobacco cessation info in a breakroom, memos sent out yearly to remind staff to get their age appropriate health screenings, or even integrating some type of health education into professional development/training days. If you would like to further your knowledge of alternative ways to look after your mind and body, Shape Women Run The World are organizing a summit featuring speakers from the world of women’s health and wellness. Take a look at their website for dates, registration information and more.
Recently, the Meigs County Health Department received a grant to conduct health education and free health screenings for women in the workplace in Meigs County, and there are still openings for interested businesses that want to participate. The small businesses can also receive funding to help with a workplace health program or improvement. For more details about this free program or to sign up, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-992-6626.