As a biokineticist my prime focus is to offer a service to individuals and corporate companies in assisiting with wellness not only in the home environment but also in the workplace. Our fitness assessments are very comprehensive.
Bonita Redgard and Rochelle Louw, biokineticists at the Institute for Sport Research, University of Pretoria wrote this very insightful article that tells you a little more about corporate wellness.
“Job-related accidents and illnesses are estimated to claim more than 2 million lives worldwide every year, accounting for around 4% of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In South Africa, work-related injuries and illnesses cost around R30billion per annum.
This is not surprising when one considers that the long term effects of long and non-standard working hours include cardiovascular disease, mental illness, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes and musculoskeletal disorders. Commonly referred to as lifestyle diseases or ailments, they may cause mortality or disability.
As awareness of these health risk factors has grown, so has an increased emphasis on workplace wellness, also known as corporate wellness. While there is legislation around the need to ensure workplace health and safety, over the past few years, the responsibility for corporate wellness has shifted from government to the employer and from the health care industry to its consumers. With the rising costs of healthcare, a growing number of companies sponsor wellness programmes as a mean of improving employee health.
Wellness programmes are designed to help employees in understanding their health risks so that they can adopt healthy behaviours to decrease health risks. The programmes can include a number of components such as health risk management (e.g. screening individuals for high risk cardiovascular disease risk factors such as elevated blood pressure of blood glucose), behavioural health (e.g. smoking cessation, substance abuse, psychological counselling), and primary care promotion and lifestyle management (e.g. encouraging weight loss, fitness and better nutrition).
It has been proven that physical activity can reduce the incidence of many lifestyle ailments. As Biokinetics is the science of movement and utilises exercises as a modality of rehabilitation and increasing performance, it is the ideal profession to assist companies in their wellness endeavours.
Biokineticists design scientifically based exercise programmes for individuals that are specific to their needs and conditions. These programmes are based on correcting postural deviations, strengthening underactive muscles and stretching overactive muscles. Programmes are also designed to have the correct intensity, duration and frequency so that individuals will experience the benefits of exercise, such as decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels and risk of diabetes etc.
Exercise prescription always takes into consideration injuries as well as the individual’s medical history, making it for any individual to exercise, regardless of whether they are recovering from a heart attack, suffering from arthritis or fit and healthy.
In addition to exercise, biokineticists are trained to correct postural deviations as well as to correct office ergonomics to make the work environment more functional and less strenuous for employees. This is not only for the office bound employees, but for any work environment, with the goal of creating an environment to fit the needs of the employee.
Companies also use biokineticists to assess their employees’ health statuses, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels and physical fitness, and then provide the employees with programmes. Biokineticists are also employed to give group exercise classes such as Pilates and aerobics (to name a few) to help create the opportunity and environment for the employees to exercise.
By keeping employees healthy these programmes not only reduce health care costs and increase productivity, but improve the company image, facilitate recruitment, and also reduce turnover, absenteeism and job injuries.”