Employee Fitness Programs: A Win-Win

It's hard to find time for fitness, a sensible diet, and health screenings—especially when you work full time.  That is, unless health and fitness opportunities come directly to you. Employee fitness and health programs are par for the course at many large companies. Even smaller companies are providing discounts on gym memberships as part of their benefits package. That's because employers know: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Employee health and fitness programs began cropping up in the 1980s in response to ever-increasing health insurance premiums as well as growing obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease rates. Employers realized they could either invest in their employees' health upfront or pay for their illnesses down the road with increased health insurance expenses and lost productivity. 

The biggest contributors to employee absenteeism are:

  • Chronic and acute illness
  • Depression/anxiety/other mental health disorders
  • Stress
  • Addictions and substance use/abuse issues

Exercise, health screening, and wellness programs can help tackle all of these problems, but only if employees can find the time and motivation to participate. That's why employers are making it easy for employees to take advantage of all the benefits that fitness and prevention measures provide.

Today, employee health and fitness programs are comprehensive. Many offer: on-site fitness centers, free or reduced gym memberships, health and wellness fairs, flu shots, and more. Some companies even hire health coaches consultants to "motivate" employees to exercise, eat right, see their doctor, get essential health screenings (like mammograms, cholesterol tests, and blood pressure checks), quit smoking, and learn stress management techniques. 

According to the National Association for Health and Fitness, worksite health programs enhance employees' overall health and productivity and provide benefits for both employers and employees.

Benefits For Employers:

  • Enhanced employee productivity
  • Improved health care costs management
  • Decreased rates of illness and injuries
  • Reduced employee absenteeism
  • Develops employee leadership skill

Benefits For Employees:

  • Lower levels of stress
  • Increased wellbeing, self-image and self-esteem
  • Improved physical fitness
  • Increased stamina
  • Potential weight reduction

Companies that provide corporate fitness management services are becoming integral to successful businesses too. They organize and provide a wide variety of incentive, lifestyle, fitness, senior fitness, online wellness, equipment, coaching and other programs.  When companies provide health and fitness programs, they tell their employees their health is important to them and tell their clients their company is healthy in more ways than one.


National Association for Health and Fitness

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