When we started our wellness journey, we weren’t unlike many other organizations—we had a policy on paper, but were struggling with putting that policy into practice. As a champion for wellness and a health benefits provider focused on wellness promotion, we knew that affecting positive change had to start from within. And with more than 67 per cent of the population over the age of 15 spending on average 60 per cent of their waking hours at work, [Alberta Health Services] we knew we had to do something more for our employees.

In 2015, we launched Balance®, an online wellness program that uses health assessment data to encourage positive behaviour change. Balance® provides health tools, trackers and interactive tutorials to employees along with wellness-inspired rewards such as gift cards and fitness equipment to incent participation. Ninety percent of our employees signed up for Balance® and with the introduction of other workplace wellness initiatives such as an on-site fitness facility, free fitness classes, and wellness breaks, we began to see positive behaviour change and engagement.

The internal launch of Balance® was so successful that we began the process to make it available to all plan members late last year. And within the last 12 months, we’ve seen incredible success.

Since its introduction, Balance® data has demonstrated significant improvements to participants’ wellness over a 12-month period. The numbers show a reduction in key risk factors important to overall wellness as seen below.

An infographic providing advice on how to take small steps to see big improvements on work life balance.

Check out our blog next week to learn about why wellness is important to us. Click here to learn more about Balance®.

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