Wellness programs are organized and coordinated programs that have the goal of enhancing the physical, mental, and emotional status of individuals. Depending on the setting, a wellness health plan may also address spiritual and vocational well-being. Wellness plans are created for use by an individual at home, for employees in a work situation, or for members of a club, organization, or faith-based institution.
One of the more common types of wellness programs in use today is an employee wellness program. In this scenario, the program seeks to provide each employee with access to competent medical care, cultivate a lifestyle that includes proper exercise and diet, and cultivate a positive mental outlook. A fully functional worksite wellness incentive helps to minimize tensions in the workplace, create more of a team spirit among employees and also enhance productivity while reducing absenteeism.
Along with corporate wellness programs, other types of organizations may also implement wellness programs that cater to a specific group or constituency within the wider community. For example, senior centers may create and offer wellness programs that contain many of the same elements found in an employee health and wellness program. Within this setting, the goal is to encourage physical and mental activity among the people who use the centers on a regular basis. This may take the form of offering physical education classes, activities that challenge and exercise cognition and in general encourage good health.
Community clubs and faith-based institutions often support wellness programs that focus on subsets of their members. Along with providing physical outlets such as walking, bicycling, or swimming, there are usually activities designed to promote social interaction, challenge the mind, and in general support wholeness of the entire person. Faith-based institutions usually include counseling and similar ministries that can help people move through challenging life events, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or recovery from a life threatening illness.
While many people think of a wellness program as centering around insurance coverage, that is not always the case. Corporate wellness programs do usually include access to group policies that are offered to employees at no charge or at rates that would be impossible to obtain with personal health coverage. However, just about any program for wellness will focus on taking a proactive approach to good health, helping people to avoid many types of physical and emotional ailments. At the same time, programs of this type also provide reactive assistance when unanticipated circumstances do occur. For example, if an employee develops diabetes, then they will be able to learn more about how to control type 2 diabetes with their diet through a wellness program.