Companies and Employees Stand to Gain By Losing

No matter how you look at it, it just makes sense to drop some pounds where you can. Those who carry around too much weight put themselves at risk for a myriad of diseases and health complications, therefore limiting how much enjoyment they can squeeze out of life. Thanks to the tireless efforts of health officials, we’re very aware of this fact and understand it on a personal level. Our employers are also wise to this fact and, as the suppliers of our health care benefits, many companies are encouraging their workers to get fit.

Corporate America has long offered such perks to recruit talent and keep them happy while at work. A happy employee is a productive employee, after all, or at least this is the common understanding among many corporations. If a happy employee is also a healthy employee, companies have even more of a reason to encourage workers to watch what they eat, join a gym, or pledge to take more steps in each day. This trend to offer wellness programs to employees goes beyond making sure everyone is happy at work, of course. Companies stand to save quite a bit of money on health insurance costs if their accounting department stays out of the ER.

It’s common for companies to host and operate a gym somewhere on premises, allowing workers who may spend much of their day sitting at a desk the chance to move around and burn some calories. Other organizations use competition to encourage the health of their employees by challenging them to take more steps or do more pushups than their peers. It always feels good to best your peers, but some workers need more than bragging rights to get off the couch when they go home at night. For these employees, companies are now offering tangible rewards for losing weight, such as gift cards and savings on their health plans.

JetBlue, for instance, pays for personal trainers for some of their employees as a part of a newly revamped wellness program. Simply participating in this program earns employees extra savings to the tune of $50, but completing certain steps nets them up to $400. Companies obviously see saving on health care costs worth the expense of discounting health plans. Even implementing small changes, like providing fruit and other healthy snacks in the kitchens, can encourage employees to make better life choices.

Offering health-related benefits to employees is a win-win for all parties involved. Not only can employers save on their total health care bill, but workers are encouraged by their peers to live a healthier lifestyle and extend their lives. Health and fitness organizations also benefit from this new trend by consulting companies and offering total-package solutions for in-office fitness areas. It behooves companies to provide these kind of benefits, so if you’re company doesn’t offer such a program, you should talk to your human resources team. It’s likely they’re already discussing implementing this kind of program. 

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