Integrating well designed health programmes into companies can improve the overall health and quality of life of employees, as well as increasing the productivity of the work force, according to research presented recently at the EuroPRevent 2011 meeting, Geneva.
“Most adults spend most of their waking hours at work and technology designed to increase productivity has resulted in a more sedentary work environment,” said Martin Halle, from the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). “The result is a workforce that’s becoming increasingly less healthy, has a lower quality of life and is less productive. The EACPR has recognised that one of the biggest contributions we can make to cardiovascular health is to go down the corporate route and introduce workplace wellness schemes”.
Introducing the “Fit for Future” (3F) programme, that is currently being developed by the EACPR , Halle said that that with a plethora of vendors now offering employee health services around Europe it is becoming increasingly important to develop an evidence-based concept that could be overseen by organisations such as the EACPR and ESC.
“Companies across Europe are doing their own thing in an ad hoc fashion. The difficulty is that there is no continuity or structured approach. What we’d like to be able to do is offer companies the opportunity to implement preventative strategies that have undergone rigorous scientific assessments to measure their efficacy,” he said.
Through data collection and analysis the 3F programme will test different methodologies and assessment instruments, so that those found to be most effective can be reproduced and used throughout Europe. The EACPR are also planning to award corporations who offer excellent corporate wellness schemes an internationally recognised mark of approval.
Dorian Dugmore, president and founder of Wellness International, a corporate wellness company based in the UK, said: “Downstream medicine reflects waiting for an illness to occur and then treating it. In contrast ‘upstream medicine’ attempts to identify risks whenever possible before illness manifests itself in a reduced quality of life, absenteeism and a dramatic increase in the cost of treatment”.
Corporate wellness, said Dugmore, can be considered integral to the success of any company. “If you look at any business it’ll have a business plan and all employees will know the key performance indicators of what makes that business tick and the profit and loss statistics. But as well as knowing their business numbers they need to know their cardiac risk numbers.”
“We need to undertake a pilot survey to find out what’s really going on in corporate wellness across Europe. Only then will we know the true scope and potential of this exciting challenge for the future,” he continued.
Corporate Health I & II, EuroPRevent symposia – detail at http://spo.escardio.org/SessionDetails.aspx?id=350950
Published on: June 8, 2011
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