You would assume that signing up for workplace health programs can only lead to benefits, but unfortunately, negatives always have a way of popping up. According to a new Mayo Clinic study in the American Journal of Health Promotion, those who join office-based wellness programs—which usually revolve around weight loss and fitness—and then fail to utilize the services can actually suffer a decline in their mental health.
The researchers surveyed more than a thousand employee wellness center members, with an average age of 39. The authors suggest that participants often have unrealistic expectations and become discouraged when they don’t immediately reach their goals.
“When life is super stressful, the motivation for wellness probably takes a big hit,” said the lead study author in an article out of the Center for Advancing Health. “If I join a wellness center and don’t go, I probably engage in negative self-talk, such as ‘there I go again, spending money to join a gym and I am such as loser I cannot even get there.’ Or ‘I didn’t go because I’m lazy and worthless.’ Negative self-talk just works against people trying to implement positive lifestyle changes. Instead, be positive. Give yourself credit for every change you make, no matter how small.”
In fact, self-affirmation has even been found to protect against the damaging effects of stress while also increasing your problem-solving abilities, according to researchers from Carnegie Mellon.
For more healthy workplace tips, visit www.CorePerformance.com/work.