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The Importance of Employee Wellness

Research suggests that healthier employees are happier employees.  Chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity and diabetes are among the most prevalent problems for individuals today.  The good news is that a healthy diet, managing stress, and a regular physical activity program can prevent or delay the onset of many of these health conditions.  Participating in a worksite wellness program can help to improve your health and quality of life both on the job and in your personal life. 

Purpose

The purpose of the program is to:

  • Increase our knowledge about health and prevention
  • Encourage involvement in health related decisions
  • Encourage adoption of healthy habits

Goals

  • Improve employee health and well-being
  • Increase employee morale and job satisfaction
  • Increase our productivity
  • Decrease absenteeism and injuries
  • Manage stress and wellness

Policy Statement

The County is committed to an organizational culture and environment that promotes wellness through healthy lifestyles that enhance the quality of life for its employees.

Wellness is much more than merely physical health, fitness or nutrition.  It is the full integration of social, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical wellness.

There are hundreds of scientific studies indicating the positive return-on-investment for promotion of worksite wellness activities.  The benefits include, but are not limited to, enhanced recruitment and retention of healthy employees, reduced risk of chronic diseases, decreased rates of illness and injuries, reduced employee absenteeism, increased work productivity, and reduced health care costs.

Participation in wellness activities is voluntary, outside the scope of an employee’s job duties and not to impact service delivery to the public.

Guidelines

The County encourages health lifestyles by:

  • Encouraging the use of preventative screening and immunizations
  • Creating a supportive environment and social context for employees to make healthier and safer personal lifestyle changes
  • Encouraging tobacco prevention and cessation
  • Encouraging stress reduction and management
  • Encouraging the use of the Employee Assistance program and Injury Prevention Program
  • Supporting the availability of healthy food options in vending machines, snack bars, and cafeterias operating in the workplace
  • Encouraging health choices such as the prevention/reduction of substance abuse dependency
  • Encouraging employees to utilize breaks for walking, stretching, or other physical activity
  • Incorporating stretch breaks into the workday when practical
  • Encouraging support for breastfeeding mothers
  • Promoting the use of stairs and walking paths
  • Encouraging the inclusion of healthy food options at events
  • Collaborating with health plans and local health clubs to encourage participation in educational resources/classes that promote exercise, good nutrition and healthy lifestyles within and outside the workplace

Notification of Waiver of Liability

Participation in the activities and events offered by the Santa Cruz County Employee Wellness Program ("Wellness Program") is on an off-duty, voluntary basis. Employees are encourage to seek a medical evaluation and clearance from their physician before engaging in any physical activity, as such activities are inherently dangerous and involve the risk of injury.  Participants agree to assume all risks inherent to participation in the Wellness Program activities and events, including but not limited to the risk of injury caused by the negligence by Santa Cruz County, its agents, employees or others, malfunctioning of improperly maintained equipment or facilities.