Most of us — if not all of us — have participated in an employer-sponsored wellness program of some sort. Even if we’re old enough to remember when it was perfectly acceptable to light up a cigarette in the office, we’ve grown accustomed to our employers offering health screenings, fitness challenges, or educational lunch-and-learns to promote healthy habits. And if we're lucky, our employer provides personalized wellbeing tools that we can access on-demand, when and where we need them the most.
Employees of 100 years ago would tell a different story. In the U.S. in 1920, about 1 million kids ages 10-15 were gainfully employed and women were just given the right to vote. Consumerism was laying its roots and mass media was born. In the wake of the global Spanish Flu pandemic, people feared outbreaks of infectious disease such as Typhus, Cholera, Yellow Fever, and Smallpox. Needless to say, neither farm nor factory workers (or their counterparts in the office) were signing up for 10,000-steps challenges or using their lunch breaks (if they had them!) to meditate.
But in the 1920s, employers did start to look at the relationship between one’s working environment and their productivity. As you’ll see in our infographic, the concept of a worker’s wellbeing having impact on their employee experience (as we understand it today, anyway) began to take shape...and workforce wellbeing programs have morphed into something that people can truly sync their tracking devices to.
Here, we’ll take you through decades of social, political, and economic change — intertwined with advances in medical science, psychology, and, of course, corporate policy and technology — to show you how employers have come to embrace their role in supporting their employees’ health and wellness. And we'll take a quick look ahead!
Want more insights?
Learn how to recalibrate your workforce wellness budget to focus on programs that deliver the success metrics that matter the most to your organization in 3 Steps to Achieving Real Value with Total Health Engagement!