We blogged last week about some organizations that penalize employees who don't participate in their wellness programs. In our experience, taking a more positive approach maximizes employee participation. And let's face it--even the best health fair or weight-loss challenge can't succeed if people don't participate.
In the February issue ofEmployee Benefits Advisor, one wellness professional recommends "creating a wellness program that's fun and open to everyone--even your fittest employees." This is great advice. We also have found that people are more likely to give the program a chance if they're rewarded simply for participating--not for losing a set amount of weight. As the article points out, "modest weight-loss should be the goal, because amounts as small as five or ten pounds can bring real health benefits." Team challenges are a logical next step; they're effective, fun, and they enhance camaraderie.
If you still aren't convinced that a wellness program is worth it, the article shares a few facts that might surprise you:
The estimated cost of obesity is $29 per person, per month.
Over a nine-year period, obese people spend twice as much on medication.
Workers with a BMI over 40 have twice as many workers comp claims.