The pandemic has forced companies to revisit their approach to health and wellness, and Amazon is no exception to the rule.
The organization recently announced the launch of WorkingWell, a new comprehensive program providing employees with physical and mental activities, wellness exercises and healthy eating support in an effort to promote better living. The program is part of the company’s investment of more than $300 million into safety projects in 2021.
The program will include a number of initiatives such as wellness zones, which provide employees with voluntary stretching and muscle recovery via easily accessible spaces within Amazon’s operations buildings; neighborhood healthcare centers that offer Amazon employees and their families affordable care within 10 miles of where they work and live; and a WorkingWell mobile app, which will include at-home access to all of the onsite safety, health and wellness offerings in Amazon buildings.
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Forty percent of work-related injuries at Amazon are musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), according to a press release. This includes sprains or strains caused by repetitive motions, and are more likely to occur among newer employees, many of whom might be working in a physical role for the first time. WorkingWell — along with other company initiatives focused on early MSD prevention — helped decrease MSD-related injuries by 32% from 2019 to 2020.
Since the start of the pandemic, mental health within the workforce has also plummeted across the board — seven in 10 workers say this period is “the most stressful time in their entire professional career,” according to a survey by Ginger, a virtual mental health platform. Nearly 88% reported experiencing moderate to extreme stress in 2020.
Moreover, APA data shows extensive markers of unhealthy coping — including disrupted sleep, increased drinking and low physical activity. Some 61% of adults are reporting undesired weight gain or loss — though mostly the former, with a typical increase of 15 pounds.
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Aspects of WorkingWell were piloted in the U.S. in 2019, and the program has since expanded to 859,000 employees at 350 sites in North America and Europe. By the end of 2021, WorkingWell will expand further to cover all of Amazon’s operations network in the U.S. with the aim of cutting recordable incident rates by 50% by 2025.
“Amazon has identified some innovative technologies and approaches to address employee well-being and the implementation of training and wellness programs in their facilities,” said Jennifer McNelly, American Society of Safety Professionals CEO, in a press release. “The occupational safety and health community thrives on sharing innovations, best practices and lessons learned.”
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort