Many employers think of wellness as a relatively new fad. But the truth is, these programs have been around for a long, long time.
In fact, workplace wellness programs have actually been in existence since major corporations began cropping up in the late 1800s.
Of course, wellness has evolved greatly since those inaugural programs to better meet employee and company needs.
To show how corporate wellness programs have transformed over the years, Limeade, a corporate wellness technology company that measurably improves employee health, compiled a detailed infographic (below) on the evolution of wellness. It serves as a timeline for major innovations in workplace wellness we still use today.
From Henry Ford to the ACA
Some major breakthroughs include:
- Henry Ford introduces the 40-hour work week in 1926
- Employee fitness centers become popular in the 1950s and 60s
- Employers launch smoking-cessation programs in the 1970s, and
- Johnson & Johnson is the first company to tie wellness programs to productivity and profitability in the 1980s.