Employers entice workers to take care of themselves


When you get lazy about your health, you cost yourself a lot of money. But that's just the start of it. You cost your employer a pretty penny, too, in lower production, paid sick time, and higher insurance premiums. Savvy businesses know that healthy employees are the most productive employees, and that's why more and more companies are starting to invest in employee health incentives.

Many companies offer small rewards for simple steps. For instance, Affinia Group gave its employees $10 Wal-Mart gift cards when they took free high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes tests. Often, individuals don't realize their risks until they've already faced serious health problems or emergencies. By testing and detecting risks early, many of those at risk get the motivation to make healthy changes before it's too late.

Some employers are going above and beyond simple early detection testing. As health insurance premiums rise ever higher, it is worth it for employers to invest lots of money in workers' health. Disease management programs have become popular in recent years, where employers will offer discounts on treatments as long as employees work to reduce their risks, either by attending counseling sessions or working with health professionals to manage risk. Other companies pay for employees' membership in weight loss programs and/or gyms.

If you're lucky enough to have an employer offer to cover these costs for you, you should absolutely take advantage of this! Getting healthy can cost a lot of money, but if someone else is footing the bill, why wouldn't you try it? Staying unhealthy is expensive, too. More and more companies are offering up rewards for the things we should be doing anyway. How much more motivation do you need?