Employee wellness programs
More and more companies are investing in employee health through
wellness programs that offer gym memberships or provide them with
assistance to lose weight. According to research by MetLife,
released by the Beverage Institute of Health & Wellness, 57% of
companies with more than 500 employees offer an support program for
smoking cessation, weight loss, or cancer tests.
Some companies even impose penalties on employees who don’t comply with these programs.
Take Advantage of the Benefits
Companies like The Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and Walmart have found that, through their benefits or health incentive programs, employees have become less ill and, in some cases, have managed to lose weight.
Group yoga classes, lectures by specialists to learn more about nutrition, and subscriptions to health clubs or gyms are some of the benefits offered by these companies.
For its part, the American Heart Association has a program called “Start! Walking” that promotes walking “inside the companies.” GlaxoSmithKline / Parsippany, NJ, Kellogg Company, Visa, and Verizon Wireless are among the companies that have acceded to this proposal.
Would you like information for your company?
Losing Weight at Work
More recently, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital proved the benefits of these programs after keeping track of 757 workers who voluntarily joined a wellness program of twelve weeks, focusing on diet and exercise. At first, 33% of participants were overweight and 30% were obese. At the conclusion of the study, obese participants had lost 3% of their weight (12 weeks), and a year after, they had a 0.9% weight loss.
In addition, all participants improved their overall health by reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure. “Voluntary wellness programs can successfully promote weight loss and healthy lifestyles within employees, but more work is needed to improve changes in the long term,” concluded the researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital.
While many companies spread these programs, many others don’t. So if you work in a company, ask the head of Human Resources if they have any such program. Maybe you’ll get advantages for your family as well.
Sources: The Beverage Institute of Health & Wellness, www.coca-cola.com, American Medical News, Coca-Cola y www.walmartstores.com. and HealthDay News.
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