Companies urged to establish health and wellness programmes

Saturday, July 13, 2019

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THE Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is encouraging more corporate entities in St James to establish health and wellness programmes for employees.

Regional health promotion and education officer at the WRHA, Marcelene Wheatle said more than 20 corporate entities in the parish have taken steps to develop a health and wellness programme for staff, but the authority is making an effort to engage more companies to join the thrust.

“If they (corporate entities) want to be good corporate citizens, they should consider implementing a workplace wellness programme. Presently, as part of the thrust of Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton, we want to increase the number before year-end,” she said.

Wheatle was speaking with JIS News following the launch of global customer care and technology company, 24-7 Intouch's corporate wellness programme at the company's office, Freeport, Montego Bay, St James, recently.

“Thirty minutes of physical activity five days per week is the take-home message we are pushing for our workplaces, and any other wellness initiative. We want individuals to get physically active, because data is showing that a great portion of the Jamaican population is inactive,” Wheatle said.

She argued that a healthy workforce will likely result in enhanced productivity and can lead to substantial health care cost-saving opportunities.

“Evidence has shown that within a workplace wellness programme, with peer support, it goes a long way. In terms of the cost factor you would have reduced absenteeism, as well as [there is] the likelihood of less health insurance being paid — so these are some long-term benefits,” Wheatle noted.

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