Workplace Wellness Programs Are an Exercise in Futility, Latest Research Finds

By | January 26, 2018

  • January 26, 2018 at 11:38 am
    Cut the Bias says:
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    A healthy lifestyle begins first and foremost with healthy eating habits and a non-sedentary lifestyle. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and encourage employees to exercise and lift weights, just offer low-cost healthy options in break rooms instead of candy and sugary soda, and give people options for standing desks and motivations to go on walks on breaks.

    Sitting at a desk, eating Cheetos and sucking down a Coca-Cola is a death penalty for office-workers, and assuredly adds to medical costs due to obesity (recent report just came out said 68% of Americans overweight now! Almost 40% obese!)

    Gym memberships and attendance are far less important than just staying mobile and eating healthy whole foods.

  • January 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm
    viciouspuma says:
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    If the employees have group health coverage through their employer, they pay the same premiums regardless of how healthy they are, thereby removing one big incentive for focusing on wellness.

  • January 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm
    Ohio Agent says:
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    Used to work for one of those companies where you could earn cash bonus to participate in a wellness plan (max you could get yearly was $250). You would have to log into a website and record things like exercise, calories, etc. daily. You would earn points when you logged in. You would then redeem the points for cash at the end of the year. The company would include the payout for what you earned to your gross pay then take out SS, Fed, State and Local taxes leaving you with about half of the $250 if you earned the maximum. Wasn’t worth the work/time you had to put into logging in daily to get the money. Most people quit participating after the first year.

    Employer received a back-end payment depending on number of participation at the end of the year.

    The neither the Employer or the HMO provided any discounts on gym memberships and didn’t have an onsite fitness facility. Company was originally located across the street from a gym and a lot of employees would go to the gym on their lunch hour and before or after work because of the convenient location. However, employer ended up moving to an area without any near by fitness facilities, parks, etc.

    Employer did remove all non-diet soda, chips and candy from the vending machines. Only thing left in the vending machine were packages of nuts, granola bars, trail mix, beef jerky, diet soda and juice. People still drank regular soda and ate candy. They just brought in from home.

    • January 26, 2018 at 4:15 pm
      Agent says:
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      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • January 28, 2018 at 9:00 pm
        Cut the Bias says:
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        So what can be done, Agent?

        Also, please leave the Marijuana talk out of thos topic, since the article doesn’t speak to it, nor does this poster allude to it.

        • February 6, 2018 at 4:59 pm
          Agent says:
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          Are you saying that Marijuana addiction is not unhealthy? Read the paper sometimes and see all the tragic stories.

  • January 26, 2018 at 5:36 pm
    TxLady says:
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    I used to participate in one of these through my health carrier, which at the tiem was through my husband’s employer. First you had to certify every year that you were a non smoker. $50 into your HSA per person. Then fill the wellness interview. Another $200 into the HSA. That interview was a little odd. Started with health and lifestyle questions, then started delving into your political beliefs, what you thought of the country, economy, all sorts of non health questions that seemed to be a grab for information. Still, with two in the family, this was worth 500 towards deductible, so we did it. Then they started the activity tracker. Wear a little device that measured your steps. Half the time it didn’t work, you could however swing it around in a circle and it would count steps like crazy. Then they wanted you logging into a system like Ohio Agent described. Every day and downloading the info from your activity tracker. Total waste of time and big waste of money for the company. They kept raising your deductible, then dangling these carrots of getting back a few dollars for participating in this or that. Seems like some fast talking sales person had got hold of them and sold this very large corporation on the magic activity trackers for $xx per person. Employees were the losers here, higher deductibles every year. The only one getting anything out of it was the manufactured of the activity tracker they had everyone wearing.

    • January 26, 2018 at 5:54 pm
      Agent says:
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      Another case of Big Brother tracking you TxLady.

  • January 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm
    chris says:
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    Our program gives us a discount on our health premiums. If we meet the guidelines this year we have a discount on premiums next year. That is a better incentive in my thinking.

  • February 1, 2018 at 4:25 pm
    Ivan del Jesus says:
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    It doesn’t take a Brain-Surgeon to figure out that people that exercise regularly and watch their diet are more healthy, more productive and incur lower medical costs

    It is also very hard for someone that doesn’t exercise at all to start exercising. For someone that are overweight or obese it is extremely hard to move that tonnage down the running track. It’s like dragging a heavy car down the street, you need a different suspension system. It might be even dangerous for some sedentary people to start exercising



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