Inspiring Health in the Workplace

Humana is a health care company that’s committed to helping people achieve life-long well-being. And for us, this starts with our associates. Encouraging everyone at Humana to focus on their health is a top priority not only because we know it helps us live better, but also because we know a culture of health fosters a more engaged workforce.

That is why several thousand Humana associates participated this year in what we call the 100 Day Dash. In its second year, the Dash challenged our associates to wear pedometers and take 10,000 steps each day or as many steps as possible, as often as possible. We launched this year’s Dash in June during National Employee Wellness Month, when organizations promote the importance of employee health and fitness at the workplace.

The results: Humana associates in 2012 took more than 5.2 billion steps. And in 2013, we stepped it up to a total of 7.2 billion steps – the equivalent of roughly 144 trips around the Earth!

In addition, Dash activities, coupled with walking meetings and group walks, have helped associates get more exercise than usual. This DasherDay2013003-500x328resulted in great stories from across the company of associates using the Dash to kick-start (or sustain) efforts to lose weight and keep it off.

At Humana, one of our company values is to Inspire Health, which extends to our members and communities, but starts at home with our associates. This emphasis underscores our commitment to go beyond treating people when they’re sick; we’re investing in innovative, collaborative and engaging ways of more effectively integrating health care so that people are getting the right care at the right time.

It’s no secret that a significant percentage of our nation’s health care goes to treating chronic health conditions – and that health solutions must come from everywhere, including the workplace. Building supportive social communities within the workplace can help create and sustain a healthy workplace culture.

Workplace wellness initiatives, we find, also benefit the company through improved associate commitment, productivity and satisfaction. For example, a recent survey of more than 1,300 businesses and 10,000 employees found that 77 percent of employees think health and wellness programs positively impact the work culture.

For Humana, well-being is at the core of our business. We know these investments in wellness help benefit associates’ overall health, reduce health care costs for our company and contribute to a healthier society. But, we also know that there is room for learning and improvement. What are you doing at your company to promote a culture of well-being? What are the biggest challenges? How is the participation? I encourage you to share your experiences with us here and continue the conversation on how we can all inspire health.