The World Health Organization defines the environment, as it relates to health, as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors.” Our environment consists of the nature that surrounds us, the air we breathe, our access to clean water. However, as human beings spend increasingly more time indoors – whether at home or at work – our indoor environments and the workplace cultures we are exposed to either improve our health or have a negative effect on it. This is why health is both a risk and an opportunity for organizations. Do nothing, and the prevalence of chronic diseases and obesity keep rising; create a healthy workplace culture, and people thrive.
Corporate sustainability has traditionally been much more focused on the physical environment, neglecting the idea that healthy workplace practices, and healthy and engaged employees, are core to a thriving, sustainable organization. While organizations are increasingly catching on to the importance of a healthy workforce, few are embracing it from within the context of sustainability. And even fewer are looking at health holistically by offering programs and workplace cultures that improve on worker well-being (as measured by mental, social, and spiritual health, and life satisfaction), not just physical health.
Never has there been a better opportunity for the business world to embrace both health and the environment in a way that serves humanity, our planet, and our organizations themselves.
Source: Huffington Post