Corporate Health and Fitness – Missing the boat!

missing-the-boatThere is finally a way to lower healthcare premiums and this affects small business to large corporations.  Rising premiums have become a painful event that employers suffer through each year.  The question is not if premiums will rise, but how much will they rise.  Now, healthcare providers are offering incentives to employees if they quit smoking, lose weight, and improve overall fitness.

The employer or healthcare provider compensates employees when they achieve measurable goals that improve their overall health and fitness. Examples of compensation are lowered healthcare premiums, funding of the employee’s HSA, and monetary compensation……. The opportunity to lower healthcare costs is very exciting for employers, but the execution of a proper health and fitness program at most companies is very poor.

For example, a larger employer in Colorado, with 6,000 employees, pays each employee $15 per workout up to 8 workouts per month. The employee is required to enter their workout and date of the workout on the company Intranet, and receives a check up to $120 per month. In concept, it  appears to be a good idea. Incentivize your employees to workout, capture their fitness data, present the data to the healthcare provider, and ostensibly premiums will be lowered.

The employer means well but the execution of the program and long-term success of improving the employee’s health and fitness is shaky at best.  This program lacks accountability, coaching, counseling, and peer engagement.  This program may work for a small subset of employees within this organization that are motivated and already have a fitness routine. The majority of the employees require more attention in order for this program to be successful and to attain measurable results.

The next step for this employer is to create training plans designed for all levels of fitness, engage employees with healthy peer motivation, and create accountability. Addaero’s new web based training log, with its group feature, can be a valuable tool to achieve these deliverables. It allows a coach to deploy training plan(s) to an individual or a group, employees a place to enter their results and track their progress, and the employer or coach to monitor the employee’s progress.

The employer can be a part of the employee’s health and fitness journey, provide coaching, counseling, and organize groups to engage in fitness. Over time the success of each employee creates meaningful data that can be presented to the healthcare providers.

2/3 of the United States is overweight or obese. There are over 180 million people employed in the United States. Proper deployment of a health and fitness plan can have a resounding affect if instituted properly.