0 Comments | Apr 01, 2010

I’m a Gym Member – Why Am I Still Fat?

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Downsizing and outsourcing have exacerbated already-stressful work environments; healthcare policy debates and an aging Baby Boomer population have made business owners very nervous about rising health costs. Those two market forces combine to make wellness an important factor in keeping employment costs somewhat manageable. Sue Schick reports (see blog) that between 75% and 86% of all employers offer health and wellness programs of some sort.

Unfortunately, as Schick also notes, having a wellness program and getting employees to use your wellness program are two different matters entirely. Just like the old joke about the gym membership (“Now that I’m a member, what are the odds I’ll lose my beer gut?”) suggests, effective wellness programs boil down to personal employee choices. We’ll make health a priority when we’re ready, but not before.

If you’re having trouble with employee wellness program participation, it might be time to consider a Vacation Wellness™ employee benefit program. We’ve put together some facts and figures in a recent white paper describing a bit more about the program, but it’s designed around two key points: vacations are good for employees, and employee vacations are good for business.

A Marshfield study (reported here by WebMD) reports that vacationers are two to three times less likely to develop depression – statistically the costliest employee malady – than their non-vacationing counterparts. The Framingham heart study found that male vacationers were a third less likely to suffer heart attack, and female vacationers were half as likely.

While smoking cessation, improved cardiovascular health, and greater general fitness are outstanding outcomes for employees, they’re results only attainable through personal dedication. But everyone needs, wants, and loves a vacation. There’s no arm-twisting required to convince employees to take advantage of their Vacation Wellness™ benefit.

It’s nice to roll out an employee benefit program that generates a little excitement – particularly one that helps mitigate your employee healthcare costs!