Research shows that happy, healthy workers experience less turnover and are more productive – the same is true of worker retention in the nursing field. Rising healthcare costs provide additional incentives for workplace health programs designed to improve employees’ physical health. Now researchers at UCLA have shown another important but lesser-recognized benefit: improved mental health. This was the first study of a workplace wellness program that showed a clear link between improvement in physical health and improvements in mental health, quality of life, stress, and energy.
Participants in the study answered questions that measured physical and emotional health, vitality, social functioning, general health perceptions, bodily pain, and any limitations due to physical or emotional problems. Participants reported improved feelings of calm, social satisfaction, ability to cope with stress, and an overall sense of well-being. They also reported improvement in their energy levels and better productivity at work.
Mental illness accounts for more than half of all healthcare costs. This data strongly suggests that workplace wellness plans have a positive effect on people’s mental state of mind as well as their physical wellness.