In the frantic and demanding day of the corporate world, employees battle to find the space and time in which to center themselves and re-energize in order to function at their full potential. According to statistics from the Discovery Health ‘Healthy Company Index, 2014,’  68% of employees do not meet the recommended minimum physical activity guidelines, 92% of employees have a Vitality Age higher than their actual age, and an average of eight days per year, per employee is lost to illness or injury, translating to a cost of nearly R10 000 per person per year.


In the face of these statistics, more and more companies are starting to realize the value of employee wellness as an important aspect that they can no longer afford to ignore, and are investing in wellness programs to reap the ultimate rewards of the health and happiness of their employees, which results in greater employee retention and increased performance and productivity.


Cape Town-based wellness company, Follow The Sun, is tackling this issue head on, offering a yoga & coaching-inspired ‘Healthy Habits for Busy People’ Program that assists companies in creating healthy, happy workforces and a culture of positivity and ongoing personal development and real change. All of which can have a massive impact on productivity and directly affect a company’s performance, team harmony and bottom line.


Follow the Sun founder Sharni Quinn shares, “Change in health behaviour is the real measure of success when it comes to corporate wellness. The pursuit of mindfulness to manage stress in the workplace is more than just a wellness trend. It is an essential aspect of work-life balance, which every company should be seeking to instil to ensure the optimal performance of their people. Instead of just providing incentives and rewards, which engage employees initially but don’t make lasting long-term positive health changes, our aim is to rather inspire your employees to embrace healthy lifestyles for authentic, internal reasons.”


Follow the Sun’s 9-month program provides simple tools for employees, while creating the platform for them to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. The program uses three main elements; yoga, food and life coaching, to focus on various company and employee needs, such as stress management, healthy eating, lifestyle transformation, passion, purpose and personal development, as well as team building, motivation and success. The program is created uniquely for each company’s needs, goals and desires.


Companies and individuals are seeing great success and realizing important shifts through the program. One employee from Investment Solutions in Johannesburg shares of his experience, “Just these past few days have made a huge impact on my life. Things were looking bleak for me and the one hour of yoga and the de-stressing breathing exercises, plus the wellness workshop we did, have helped me realise that stress does indeed have a massive impact, but also that there are ways of managing it. I feel brilliant, more energized and less stressed than I have been in a long time.”


Natasha Naidoo, Assistant to the General Manager, and participant in and coordinator of the program at 15 on Orange in Cape Town explains the impact the program has had on their work environment, “Even though we (the managers participating in the Healthy Habits program) work in different departments and our job specs require us to often work parallel to one another – we’ve found that since we have started our sessions, somehow we are all in sync. There is a sense of community and a common purpose where in the past everyone was so fixated on completing their own tasks. Often our team checks up on each other to lend a hand or to lend an ear. We are like a united front and it’s as if we are almost impenetrable, especially when faced with adversity or challenging situations. We have been under huge amounts of pressure with season upon us and yet – we still rise.”

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