When WELCOA rolled out our new brand back in April, we were driven by the idea that the wellness industry needed to address employee wellbeing from a more holistic perspective, and we wanted to project that in our new look and feel. We as an industry have been throwing “holistic” around a lot lately though, and I am not sure that we always do a great job of describing what we mean by that. How often do we actually think about what we are trying to achieve when we try to make our wellness programs more “holistic”? The definition of holistic is characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
Wow. That puts things into perspective. So what does it mean to create a wellness program for someone that addresses the comprehension of the things in their lives that contribute to their health that are so numerous and so intimately interconnected that you can only consider them as parts of a whole? We’d have to consider physical health, psychology, relationships, environment, and understand that if just one of those components was out of sync, it would cause a disruption to the whole system—we wouldn’t be well (our new course on the P4 model discusses this). That sounds like a pretty complicated wellness program. Can it even be done?
WELCOA thought it was time to find someone who was actually conceptualizing this idea—and not just in a framework or model but actually doing something actionable to address whole-person health. We couldn’t wait to tell you what we discovered at the Well Living Lab at the Mayo Clinic, where they are examining all parts of what makes people well in work and life and systematically beginning to craft environments that make people healthier.
“We couldn’t wait to tell you what we discovered at the Well Living Lab, where they are examining all parts of what makes people well in work and life and systematically beginning to craft environments that make people healthier.”
As you read this blog post, Dr. Brent Bauer and his team of researchers are studying air, sound, ergonomics and so many more factors that can be tweaked in a work space. They are literally designing experimental workspaces that identify all of the factors in an environment that determine whether they are mentally and physically well. I can’t think of anything more holistic than that. When WELCOA heard about this research, we were so excited to share it with you—imagine the possibilities for workplace wellness if we put all of the parts of total well-being together and crafted a place to work that truly takes the best possible care of people.
Like Dr. Bauer told me in a new exclusive interview, “We can use the environment to influence our health. Sometimes that can be positive; sometimes that can be negative. But I think it just tells you the power is there.”
Read the full interview here, and get ready to be inspired by this true case study in holistic wellness.
Ryan Picarella, President