Happy, healthy employees are the secret behind successful companies. They’re also the force driving National Employee Wellness Month.
Founded in 2009 by Virgin Pulse and the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, this important initiative helps business leaders learn how companies successfully engage employees in healthy lifestyles. Held annually in June, National Employee Wellness Month is sponsored by both organizations and the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease and WorldatWork, with 2014 marking the sixth year of the campaign. By shining a spotlight on wellness, employers can not only improve employee health and productivity, but reduce healthcare costs and create an all-around more engaged workplace.
This year, National Employee Wellness Month kicks off on June 2, with the highest number of Proud Supporters ever! More than 200 companies are pledging their support for National Employee Wellness Month 2014. Leading organizations including AOL, Coca-Cola, Nationwide, and Walgreens will offer up healthy workplace activities throughout June.
All Proud Supporters of National Employee Wellness Month are committed to company-wide wellness, taking an active role in helping their employees live long-term, healthy lifestyles.
Last year’s National Employee Wellness Month participants shared dozens of personal success stories and competed in a physical activity challenge. Challenge participants averaged more than 9,600 daily steps, totaling over 19 billion combined steps. That’s enough to circle the globe more than 380 times!
It’s a safe bet that this year’s participants are going to have some amazing achievements and inspiring success stories of their own—and we want to hear about them! Join the conversation and share your healthy stories on Facebook, Twitter (tweet to @VirginPulse, hashtag #NEWM2014), and Instagram (hashtag #NEWM2014).
Is your organization a Proud Supporter of National Employee Wellness Month? What healthy workplace events and activities are you promoting in June?
Our latest partners are Endomondo, a social fitness network and mobile tracking app, and Shine from Misfit, an all-metal activity tracker that can be worn anywhere.
Virgin Pulse is the first corporate wellness provider to directly integrate with Misfit’s Shine, an activity and sleep monitoring device. Along with our latest additions, our program and platform supports a host of leading wearable fitness devices and mobile apps, including solutions from Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Polar, RunKeeper via their Health Graph API, as well as our proprietary device, Max and our Pulse Mobile App.
Once strictly viewed as technology for fitness enthusiasts and early adopters, wearable activity tracking devices are quickly gaining major appeal. In fact, 52 percent of consumers are aware of these devices and one in three is likely to buy one. Fourteen million wearable devices were shipped in 2011, and that figure is expected to skyrocket to 170 million by 2016, Consumer Electronics Association anticipates. Using wearable fitness devices or apps won’t only help employees keep tabs on their daily activity – these devices can increase activity by 27 percent.
Wondering what’s in it for you, though? Consider the effect exercise has on employees’ productivity:
With an impact like that, more employers are offering activity tracking devices up as part of their corporate wellness programs in an effort to help support employees in making physical activity a cornerstone of their day.
“Wearable fitness technology can have a dramatic impact on helping change behaviors and nudge people along. And that’s what modern wellness is all about—changing behaviors and engaging people to live better,” said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse.
“Incorporating wearable fitness tech as part of a workplace wellness program helps employers reach not just the worried well but the majority of the population—the people who aren’t taking it upon themselves to investigate these devices and aren’t willing to pay a lot for them on their own. With those factors in mind, we’ll continue to add even more of the best wearable fitness devices and mobile apps to our growing suite of compatible devices in order to provide even more consumer choice and to continue delivering the great consumer experience for which the Virgin brand is known. We’re excited to welcome Endomondo and Misfit’s Shine to our family of compatible wearable fitness devices and apps.”
Endomondo’s CEO and Co-Founder, Mette Lykke, said, “Endomondo prides itself on being fun, social and motivating. With tens of millions of users around the globe, we also believe in the power of community—involving family and friends in the process of getting healthy. Our integration with Virgin Pulse is a logical extension of our core tenets, and we’re excited to bring our application to Virgin Pulse’s corporate customers and their employees.”
“Corporate wellness programs are an incredible opportunity to affect healthy change at scale, and nothing is cooler than that,” said Misfit CEO & Founder Sonny Vu. “We’re excited to partner with Virgin Pulse to bring Shine to even more employees across the country.”
Are you offering wearable fitness devices to your employees? How are they impacting employees? What are you encouraging them to track? We want to hear about it!
Sleep deprivation is a serious struggle for most Americans – and it’s taking a toll on your employees’ work, health and overall well-being. Between juggling their jobs along with a multitude of other responsibilities, many people have a hard time getting enough quality sleep each night, costing your business nearly $2,000 in lost productivity per employee each year. With sleep deprivation being named an “epidemic” by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s time to really understand how it impacts your employees and your business.
Last week, we launched the Virgin Pulse Institute, an evidence-based organization that puts research to work to help employees and companies thrive. Simultaneously, the Institute released its first joint research report conducted by the Virgin Pulse Institute and vielife, “Asleep on the Job: The Causes and Consequences of Employees’ Disrupted Sleep and How Employers Can Help.” The report features some hard-hitting figures – like that 40 percent of employees doze off during the day once a month.
Luckily, there’s a way employers can help. According to “Asleep on the Job”, employers can support their people in sleeping better immediately. All it takes is a little education, programs, and policies to drive better sleep. Best of all? Employees in the report were very grateful their employers offered assistance, with many saying they loved their companies for it.
Learn more about how sleep deprivation affects your workforce – and what you can do about it – in the infographic below.