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Short Course in Workplace Wellness

A generic outline to be adapted to client’s specific needs and requirements

Brief Description

The cost to the economy resulting from death and disability as a result of illnesses such as heart disease and stroke is in excess of R8 billion a year! This exerts a tremendous burden on the workplace: lost man hours, lost productivity due to presenteeism, sick leave and absenteeism. Therefore, it is in the workplace’s best interest to search for, and implement, solutions.

Workplace wellness interventions have become essential to successfully address the burden of disease in South Africa. It is time for a paradigm shift: for too long we’ve been focusing our attention on the problem (i.e. managing disease). Wellness interventions focus on the solution: health promotion, optimal health and wellness through awareness, education and new ways of thinking.



Day 1:  

  • The wellness paradigm.
  • Defining wellness.
  • Models of wellness.
  • Assessing each participant’s wellness profile, including a stress assessment.
  • The iceberg model adapted to deeper levels.
  • Wellness as return on investment.
  • Choosing the right intervention.
  • Marketing your program. Choosing the right incentives.
  • Addressing the burden of disease: Wellness interventions, a solution for the chronic diseases of lifestyle (CDL’s).


Day 2:  

  • The wellness approach: an integrative model – Heart Health
  • Practical wellness: an experiential program for each participant


Learning Outcomes

Course outline

After completing this course, participants would have a clear idea of:

  • The wellness paradigm, definition of wellness, the adapted illness-wellness continuum, health and wellness promotion versus disease management, the adapted iceberg model of health, behaviour change model
  • Wellness interventions to address the CDL’s, for every stage of change to enable support and ensure participation. Health conditions that respond well to a wellness approach
  • The need for wellness interventions that address all the chronic diseases of lifestyle in the workplace
  • Ideas for increasing employee awareness, support and compliance. A changed perspective in wellness practice
  • Hhow to encourage management support and motivation.


Who Should Enrol

The course would be of value to anybody interested in the promotion of wellness, but in particular for those in the following fields: all the medical and health consulting disciplines, wellness practitioners, nursing professions, occupational health, human resource and employee assistance, paramedics, psychology, biokinetics, human movement sciences, spiritual and religious work, community workers, nutrition, medical aid and medical insurance representatives, child care, government, education, complementary health arena, occupational social work and recreational consultancy.



The course will be presented by Dr Arien van der Merwe, medical doctor, author and medical specialist: health and wellbeing.


Course Structure

The course will entail some lectures, but the emphasis will be on practical workshop sessions and an experiential approach. The course will be presented in English.

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