As healthcare costs rise, more and more companies are realizing that helping their employees stay healthy is good business, plain and simple.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, over 75% of a company’s health care costs and loss of productivity are connected to employees’ lifestyles. It’s not just obvious health care risks like smoking either. A major culprit in the ongoing healthcare challenges is inactivity for long periods of time – as you may have heard, sitting is the new smoking.
Inactivity contributes to stiffness, lack of mobility, and for many, weight gain. It’s no secret that obesity and diabetes have reached critical proportions in the United States and cost employers millions. It’s also no secret that healthy eating and adequate exercise can help prevent all those maladies. Fortunately, studies also show that incorporating fitness into your employee nutrition plan can reduce both stress and absenteeism.
Read on to discover what an employee fitness program is, how you can combine it with your meal program and how it contributes to your ROI by encouraging employee retention.
3 Common Questions About Corporate Fitness Programs
1. What is an Employee Fitness Program?
As we mentioned previously, long hours sitting at the computer and in meetings take a toll on the body. Well-designed wellness programs encourage movement to combat this inactivity. Depending on your resources, you may provide on-site gyms complete with fitness classes. Lunch-time yoga can provide a much-needed respite in the middle of the day. Companies can offer gym reimbursements, and build fitness into company culture with standing or walking meetings.
Encouraging movement, and making it easy for employees of any fitness level to participate will go a long way toward helping your employees incorporate fitness into their lives.
2. How Can It Be Combined With a Meal Program?
A fitness program without nourishing food options is only half of the equation. Flavor filled meals that include fresh produce, whole grains, and minimally processed ingredients are packed with nutrition, and eating more of them will help your employees move towards health and feel their best. By creating employee awareness of food offerings nutrition by disclosing calories, fiber, sugar, and protein, you can help employees reach their health and wellbeing goals. Certain apps can even allow employees to keep track of calorie input vs. output making it easy for anybody to make the most of a combined nutrition/fitness plan. Of course, you need to make sure healthy options are available in the first place!
And as we know, money talks. Price nudging the most healthful options to encourage these to be purchased has shown to be effective in encouraging more healthful purchases. When coordinated with fitness providers for a robust array of wellbeing offerings, this can reduce Metabolic Syndrome markers and overall company healthcare spend.
3. How Do You Earn Back Your Investment Through Employee Retention?
Employees want to feel valued, respected, and know that they are being invested in. By offering a variety of wellbeing platforms to include nutrition education, healthy food options, and encouraging fitness, your employees will feel like the company appreciates them - and they’ll stay longer.
Your employees will have more energy, be more productive, and be healthier overall; resulting in fewer sick days and lower direct healthcare costs.
It’s clear that there are many benefits to including fitness in your employee nutrition plan. Happy, healthy, productive employees who plan on sticking around with the company are what everyone wants - and can be yours by adding an emphasis on fitness.