Four Ways to Support Employee Health, Wellness, and Fertility

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As recruiting and retaining talent has become more difficult, many employers have added health and wellness programs to the benefits they offer. In 2020, 81 percent of large companies (with more than 200 employees) offered wellness programs, according to the 2020 Health Benefits Survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some of the most popular workplace wellness programs include fitness subsidies, providing healthy snack and lunch options in the workplace, and smoking cessation programs.  These employer-sponsored programs promote employees’ general health and wellbeing, but they can also help those who are trying to start a family.

Fitness Activities

Some companies are able to provide access to on-site fitness facilities or classes, such as yoga and aerobics, while many others offer subsidized memberships to local gyms. Other employer-sponsored fitness activities include walking clubs that meet during lunchtime or after work, or challenges that reward teams of employees for accumulating step counts. All of these fitness activities can improve employees’ health by encouraging aerobic fitness, healthy weight management, and stress relief.  For people who are trying to conceive, maintaining or getting to a healthy weight improves their chances of getting pregnant naturally.

Healthy Snacks and Lunch Options

For companies that have cafeterias or in-house catering, offering healthy snacks and lunch options is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle.  If it’s convenient and inexpensive for employees to eat well and avoid fast food, many will choose to do so.  Healthy eating may have a profound effect on health by lowering consumption of salt and fatty fried foods, which can raise blood pressure and cholesterol.  Eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to support overall health and is extremely beneficial for those who are trying to get pregnant.

Smoking Cessation Programs

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Smoking cessation programs often use medications and lifestyle coaching to help employees quit smoking and avoid diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, cardiovascular disease, and lung cancer.

Smoking can cause fertility problems in both men and women.  In men, smoking can damage sperm and contribute to impotence. The chemicals found in cigarette smoke may also cause women to lose eggs faster, which reduces ovarian reserve and makes it harder to conceive.  Additionally, smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of prematurity, low birth weight, and birth defects. Quitting smoking before pregnancy is best, but stopping at any point is better than continuing to smoke for both the employee’s health and the baby’s health.

WIN’s Preconception Services

Companies that provide fitness opportunities, healthy meals, and resources to make better lifestyle choices evidently benefit their employees, but with the addition of WIN’s Preconception Services the positive effects can be multiplied for people trying to conceive (TTC). Specifically, WIN’s in-house licensed dietician can give members personalized guidance in making the best of their employer-sponsored wellness programs. With the help of a WIN dietician, members gain the tools they need to create the best diet for their nutritional needs, reach personal weight goals, adopt healthy habits, and create mind-body positivity to enrich their health and natural fertility.

Additionally, WIN provides convenient ovulation tracking and in-home sperm testing to give members critical insights into their reproductive health, which can help increase the chances of natural conception. Combined with other wellness programs, your employees may find it even easier to get pregnant naturally with the help of WIN’s preconception services, allowing them to potentially avoid fertility treatments that may be time consuming and stressful.

For those who can’t get pregnant on their own, WIN is there to help guide members to the family building options that are right for them. From fertility benefit management to egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption and reproductive behavioral health support, WINFertility offers a suite of inclusive, flexible solutions. These family building solutions are backed by clinical advocacy to improve outcomes for employees in a cost-efficient manner for employers. WIN also gives members access to OB/Maternity support programs to provide guidance all the way through pregnancy, as well as the return-to-work process.

WIN can help your employees through their unique family-building journey. Click here to learn more about how.