Get On The Bandwagon With A Wellness Program

A couple of days ago I posted a blog post about how medical plan costs are on the rise and that these costs could potentially be passed down to the employee. I know that I’ve written about Wellness Programs before, but this is pretty important – especially in a day and age where more people are sitting behind computers all day. Employers, as well as employees, need to understand that there is a way to help decrease healthcare costs overall. Providing a Wellness Program to employees would be the first step in decreasing healthcare costs for everyone. According to Jeff Brown:

  • “TheU.S.spends $147 billion in direct health care costs associated with poor diet and physical inactivity.
  • Diabetes cases inAmericahave increased nearly 43 percent since 2001. Nearly 9 percent of the population has diabetes.
  • More than 17 percent of Americans Smoke.”
  • Nearly 28 percent ofU.S.adults are now considered overweight.
  • “Obese employees with three or more chronic health conditions miss an average of 3.5 days of work per month, or 42 days per year.
  • Obese Americans spend approximately 36 percent more on health care costs and 77 percent more on medications than those with a healthy weight.”

Providing a comprehensive Wellness Program that incorporates several types of Wellness products and services that can be tailored to the specific needs of individual employees is important. Just offering a gym membership is really not enough. Not everyone is willing (or comfortable) hitting the gym. However, they may be willing to take short 10 minute walks every hour or so around the inside or outside of the building with coworkers as a start to getting them out of their chairs. Not everything has to be expensive for the company, and some of the Program benefits should include team involved activities because some employees may be more likely to participate if they can bring their friend (yes, just like in high school).

More and more employers are offering more extensive Wellness Programs to their employees because they see the overall benefits from the programs:

  • Increased productivity of employees
  • Reduced healthcare costs
  • Reduced number of employee absences
  • Overall happier and healthier workforce

Does your company offer a Wellness Program? If so, what type of benefits are offered?

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