NBA and NBPA Working on Mental Wellness Program

Professional sports provide many with a form of escape from their daily lives. It sparks debates, brings people of different backgrounds together and helps fulfills the competitive drive within many.

With the NFL, NBA and MLB generating billions in revenue annually and player contracts the most lucrative they’ve ever been, it’s easy to view the lives of professional athletes as those of little-to-no worries. What’s often not given the attention as the dollar amount of their contracts are the demands placed on them by those contracts, family needs, already suppressed mental issues, and the pressures that come with a life in the public eye.

A Focus on Mental Wellness

There has been recent progress made in professional sports on the handling and addressing of mental health issues. National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts recently revealed that the NBA and the NBPA are creating a mental wellness program for players.

In an interview with SB Nation, Roberts said “Everyone makes much ado about physical health and making sure these athletes are able to stay injury free so they can play. It’s been preposterous not to realize that mental wellness needed to be given attention.”

Roberts also called it “a shame” that mental wellness in the NBA has been overlooked.

Players Speaking Out on Their Issues

Just recently, Toronto Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan went public in acknowledging he suffers from depression. His admission led to Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love to open up about his own mental health issues in an essay published on The Player’s Tribune titled “Everyone Is Going Through Something.”

One in four adults has a mental health condition. That’s over 60 million Americans and 56 percent of American adults with mental illness do not receive treatment even with more having access to services.

Considering that many players that enter the NBA are as young as 18 when they are drafted, the pressure that comes with the weight of expectations both personally and professionally can wear on any young adult.

Perhaps the most prevalent aspects of the program, according to Roberts, is that it would be completely independent and separate from teams, the NBA and the NBPA. This would give players privacy to help receive the treatment they need without fear of any personal information being shared by organizations.


The productivity of each player on the roster is essential to the success of any franchise. Making strides to assure that they have the proper attention off the court to be at their best is just as important as having the best to help develop their skills on the court. The program isn’t yet fully in place but it’s another example of an industry placing a concentrated effort on the wellness and wellbeing of their employees.

Can Workplace Workouts Work for You?

For many in the workforce, there are simply not enough hours in the day, especially to commute to a gym before or after work. With this in mind, any workplace wellness program – space permitting – could benefit from wellness initiatives with physical activity components.

Onsite Wellness Programs

The advantages of an onsite program would benefit those looking to get a quality workout in. This gives workers the opportunity to be active during their lunches or after their workday is complete. Employers could even incentivize their workers further to utilize the space by implementing a rewards program to help encourage more in the office to participate. There are also opportunities to help foster a sense of teamwork within the office by challenging them to work together to achieve team goals.

According to, adults gain health benefits, such as better fitness, healthier body size and composition, when they do the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week.

Bringing Awareness to your Employer

Employees looking to get this on the radar of their employer can talk to their human resources manager to help make their case for wellness initiatives with physical activity and the benefits associated with it.

If there is no space where physical activities can be incorporated, other initiatives such as walking meetings, taking the stairs, bike programs and company step challenges can also be implemented to give coworkers more diversity in encouraging physical activity.


The goal of any wellness initiative is to lower health costs, enhance employee engagement and reduce absenteeism and turnover. By incorporating some time for physical activity, or a space dedicated to it, employers can help influence and motivate behavioral changes, which affect daily help habits, stress and an adoption of a wellness plan of their own.

Corporate wellness starts with the employees and knowing them is essential to the success of any initiative. However, employees sharing their ideas and voicing their opinions to help get plans turned into action aids in providing their employers the knowledge they need to make the proper changes.

If your interested in bringing a wellness culture to your organization:
Check out MoveSpring, a fun and easy to use health platform for companies and organization to compete in fitness tracking challenges!

Three Factors Employers Should Consider before Structuring a Health and Wellness Program

With the New Year now here, several employers will be jumping on health and wellness initiatives. Helping to decrease the amount of time employees are on sick leave and to help increase productivity and focus. With the heightened focus on programs geared towards boosting the overall health of employees, employers might want to be smart in how they structure their wellness programs.  Here are three factors employers should focus on before rolling out any kind of program.

Before the building of any wellness can begin, it’s important for an employer to know exactly who their employees are. What their current health and activity levels are and what their goals are. For younger employees, their fitness levels and goals will be vastly different from some of the more senior employees. So it’s easy to see why they wouldn’t be incentivized and motivated with the solitary program. For large or medium-sized businesses, finding a way to sit down one-on-one with 500-plus employees isn’t feasible. A company-issued survey that targets age range, current fitness level/goals and eating habits is a great tool in helping target what employees might be good for different incentives based on the information provided.


Try these free online survey services:
Personalizing the Wellness Experience
With every employee’s fitness goal or activity level differing, comes the need for a more personalized experience. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee aren’t going to be important to next. With each person’s fitness level being unique, so should his or her experience. That shouldn’t mean that there aren’t activities that can’t be done as a unit. Encouraging group activities where everyone can participate in collectively, like morning yoga or group walks, are great ways to garner more participation, and keep those needing a little boost of motivation. The values of creating a community should tie nicely to the values of the company. To help with employee activity engagement, check out MoveSpring, a fun and easy-to-use health fitness tracking platform for companies and organizations.



With most employees already having the burdens of a daily workload and at-home tasks, employers would be wise to make sure that their program is set up so that it isn’t too complicated. Oftentimes, employers don’t see the participation levels they want due to the employees not wanting to take on anything that they feel is going to add another burden or task to their schedule. The less confusion around the initiative, the higher the participation should be.