The health of your employees doesn’t just affect their private lives, it also has a direct connection to your company’s bottom line. That’s because the less healthy your employees are, the more they visit the doctor, the less they are in the office and the higher their risk for serious conditions and chronic diseases are.
To help motivate employees to get active and in shape, companies can implement workplace fitness programs. These initiatives can be as involved as building a fully stocked onsite health club or as simple as hosting an inter-office competition or offering discounts on gym memberships. If you aren’t really sold on the idea of incorporating a fitness program in your office, explore these three reasons why fit employees lower employer’s costs:
- Reduced risk of preventable illnesses and injuries: Regular physical activity reduces the risk of conditions that cost a lot of money to treat. For example, diabetes and heart disease are both caused by inactivity, and both are very expensive. Also, exercising helps cut down on doctor’s visits due to injuries -weak and inactive muscles are more prone to injury.
- Reduced healthcare claims: Thanks to a lower risk of illness and injury, fitness programs can decrease the instance of health care claims, which saves money for the insurance companies and, ultimately, the employer.
- Higher productivity in the office: The more physically fit your staff is, the healthier they are overall. That means fewer sick days and higher productivity. Researchers have found that employees who exercise regularly are better able to concentrate, learn quickly, be creative and remember things.
For more information about workplace wellness and inspiration for creating your own fitness program, check out these posts from this blog as well as A Healthier Michigan:
- Employee Wellness for the Millennial Workforce
- Wellness Programs: Good for Employees, Even Better for Your Business
- Trend Alert: Workplace Wellness Incentives That Actually Work
About the author: John J. Dunn is vice president of Middle and Small Group Business for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. He’s responsible for the sales and earnings performance of middle and small group business, which generates approximately $4 billion in annual premiums. He’s also involved in key projects related to achieving the company’s core business strategies, including strategic planning, national health care reform, product development and pricing. Dunn has been with Blue Cross for 25 years. He’s a fellow of the Society of Actuaries, a member of both the American Academy of Actuaries and the Michigan Actuarial Society, and serves as immediate past chair and treasurer of the board for the Children’s Center of Wayne County. Dunn holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University.
Photo credit: @first_sight