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  • Colleen K. Broersma

Peer Leaders Changing Lives!


Think about it - do you ask your healthcare provider how to lose weight or start an exercise program? If you're like most Americans you ask your friends and family, particularly those who have been successful. If Joe lost 50 pounds you want to know how he did it, or if Sue finished a Marathon you want to know her training secrets.

Powerful Leadership

Peer led health and safety education is an effective tool in a business's worksite health promotion toolbox. Peer leaders are effective because they speak the language of their co-workers, understand what it's like to do their jobs and most likely live in their neighborhoods. They share similar health, exercise and nutrition challenges with co-workers and can effectively brainstorm solutions.

The Influence of Social Well-being on Health

In addition to improving health and safety, peer led health and safety programs lead to increased camaraderie and teamwork. Research performed by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, Ph.D. of the Gallup organization indicates that our entire social network affects our health, habits, and wellbeing. In fact, their research revealed that having a best friend at work can halve your chances of dying of heart disease; speed healing; and reduce your chances of getting cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, and certain cancers.

The Influence of Social Well-being on Productivity

Strong social relationships at work not only improve our health; when we have a good friend at work we are seven times more likely to be engaged in our jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher quality work, have higher wellbeing, and are less likely to get injured on the job.

Those Who Exercise (diet, quit tobacco) Together - Stay Together

Gallup's research also shows workplaces with areas where employees can congregate, like dining and break areas, have twice as many people with best friends at work. Daily peer led health and safety programs create opportunities for employees to gather together, united towards the common cause of improving their well-being and strong relationships evolve. So gather around the water cooler for a peer led safety talk...

Hear what the Peer Leaders have to say about it: W.E.L.L. Leadership

References

Gallup Business Journal, "Your Friends and Your Social Well-being" by Tom Rath and Jim Harter, Ph.D.

Gallup Business Journal, "Workplace Socializing is Productive" a Q&A with Alex Pentland

Gallup Business Journal, "Wanted: More Conversations in the Workplace" by Tom Rath

Gallup Business Journal, "The Tenth Element of Great Managing" by Rod Wagner and Jim Harter

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