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Six Tips for Promoting Employee Wellness

Employee wellness has become an increasingly hot topic, buoyed by studies that suggest sitting for extended periods of time, poor ergonomics and fatigue on the job can lead to potential health issues. However, a new poll by EMPLOYERS finds that small businesses, which employ more than half of the American workforce, have been much slower to embrace promoting employee wellness.1

According to a recent survey, adults employed full-time in the United States spend an average of 47 hours per week at work. In fact, 18 percent of full-time employees typically work 60 hours per week. Since employees spend a majority of their time at the workplace, employers have a unique opportunity to impact employees’ health and wellness.2

One important trend that emerged from the recent EMPLOYERS survey was that small business employees do not take sufficient time away from work, despite research that shows vacations and other forms of restorative time off can have positive effects on health.

The EMPLOYERS survey found that two out of five (42 percent) small business employees do not use all of their allotted time off from work each year. Additionally, while at work, nearly one quarter (23 percent) of hourly and salaried employees often wait up to three or four hours before taking a break.

To help combat these alarming statistics, small businesses can become more proactive about creating workplace environments and enforcing policies that promote employee health and well-being.

Here are six simple things businesses can implement to encourage employee wellness:

Effective workplace wellness programs can encourage healthy behaviors. By incorporating elements such as healthy snacks, weight management tools, medical screening and on-site fitness opportunities, small businesses can help employees make wellness part of their everyday lives. In addition, policies such as allowing time for exercise, providing on-site kitchens and offering healthy food options can further facilitate employee health and help create an overall culture of wellness.

A healthy workplace creates a win-win situation for employers and their employees. Small businesses with programs and policies focused on employee health and well-being reduce risks to both workers and the organization.


1. Small Business Trends Small Business, Big Impact!” U.S. Small Business Administration.

2. Saad, Lydia.”The 40-Hour Workweek is Actually Longer.” GALLUP.