David L. Katz, MD, has said, “What’s best for all of us tends to be best for each of us, too.”
When it comes to global health, that statement certainly rings true. Around the world, the people who live the longest and with the best health tend to:
- Eat well
- Stay active
- Get proper sleep
- Avoid tobacco
- Manage stress
- Enjoy healthy social ties
These healthy lifestyle choices benefit every culture as a whole and the individuals who exist within them. In the same vein, by promoting these universally successful practices, multinational companies can enjoy healthier employees and a more productive workplace overall.
The global health toll
The four leading causes of death globally — cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease1 — are largely caused by these preventable risk factors:
- Tobacco use
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Unhealthy diet
- Alcohol abuse
People around the world are struggling to make healthier lifestyle choices:
- About 34% of men and 6% of women aged 15 years and older currently use tobacco.2
- 28% of all adults aged 18 years and older were insufficiently physically active.3
- 52% of the global workforce is overweight.4
- 76% are struggling with their well-being.5
Today, only about 9% of global employees have access to an employer-driven wellness program.6 What better time than now to think about how to meet employees’ health needs — literally right where they live? An on-site wellness partner can help make it happen.
On-site wellness partners offer a world of knowledge
No matter where your workers are geographically located, a wellness partner can bridge company culture, employee culture and the local culture by offering these benefits and more:
- A wide range of services. From behavioral health solutions to prevention strategies, the goal is to engage employees in fueling, resting and moving their bodies.
- Culturally unique wellness strategy. A wellness partner can help develop a health strategy that’s tailored to your company’s culture. This may help achieve cost savings with scalable tactics.
- Digital health and wellness platforms. Mobile technologies, social networking and gamification are proven tools for employee engagement in wellness.
- Employees will learn about their health needs so they can lean into sustained behavior change.
- Employee Assistance Programs. Employees and their families are able to receive 24/7 support for behavioral health needs and work-related issues.
Every person, no matter where they live and work, must be well to be effective. With the help of an on-site well-being partner, your employees will be able to proactively improve their habits and lead healthier, more balanced lives.
That’s what’s best for them, best for your company and, ultimately, best for our planet.
To learn more about how an on-site wellness partner can help improve your global health, please visit optum.com/globalemployers.
Join the conversation! What health and wellness trends are you seeing when it comes to global companies? Tell us about it in the comments below or on our social media pages.
About the Author
Heather MacAyeal Hardy, CHC AADP
Senior Director, On-Site Health Promotion and Wellness Coaching, Prevention Solutions, Optum
Heather is a certified Health and Wellness Coach. In her role at Optum, she leads product innovation and engagement capabilities for both domestic and multinational companies. She and her on-site staff help our customers enhance their consumer health engagement and company culture. The goal is to influence positive behavior change that ultimately affects our client’s population health. Heather joined Optum on-site services in 2014. Prior to taking on the product leadership role, she served both as a coach and health promotion specialist in the field. Her work with opioid awareness campaigns and corporate wellness strategy has earned her clients local and national recognition.
1. World Health Organization. Noncommunicable diseases country profiles 2018. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/274512/9789241514620-eng.pdf?ua=1. Published September 2018. Accessed April 3, 2019.
4. Frost & Sullivan. Global healthcare industry outlook, 2018. http://www.frost.com/sublib/display-report.do?id=K227-01-00-00-00. Published January 3, 2018. Accessed April 2, 2019.