Once the office space itself has been altered to create an environment that promotes health and wellness, an employer may want to consider implementing a campaign specifically addressing healthy weight. There are many ways to go about this. For the purposes of this post, we will address two categories. Activities that focus directly on weight loss and activities that focus on physical activity.
Activities that focus directly on weight loss.
Distribution of Written Materials.
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has numerous publications that address healthy weight. The website provides many pamphlets that can be downloaded at no cost. Providing these at the work place may inspire employees to take steps to shed some pounds. Source.
Individually tailored telephone-based coaching programs have been shown to yield impressive results. A study that included just 5 coaching calls over an 8 month period showed that 48% of participants that completed the program lost weight and they lost 2.6 times more weight than individuals that did not complete the program. Moreover, completers showed improved physical activity, eating habits, and overall health status. Source
A proven weight loss program is Weight Watchers. Since 1963, Weight Watchers has been helping people lose weight. (view more). It is a system that offers meetings and online support and has been ranked #1 in Best Weight-Loss Diets by US News and World Reports. (view more) Depending on the size of the company, Weight Watchers will consider providing meetings on-site. Smaller companies may be able to allow employees to leave work to attend near-by meetings.
Activities that focus on physical activity.
An employer can provide pedometers, such as Fit Bits, to employees and create incentives for achieving a certain level of activity within a given period of time. For example, a company can reward all the employees that walk over 10,000 steps at least 5 days a week with a gift card. A major benefit of pedometers is that the focus is not on weight loss but on physical activity. Employees that are already at a healthy weight can participate which would improve their health as well. This type of approach is appealing because of its simplicity particularly for smaller organizations.
Company Wide Physical Activity Wellness program.
A physical activity wellness program such as Walking Spree is a fantastic idea for larger companies. (view more) This program includes trackers for physical activity and caloric intake and incorporates a social network. Walkingspree has been shown to lower health care and has a ROI between $2.00 and $10.00 for every $1 spent. (view more)
The ideas here are just a few of the hundreds of programs available to help employees attain health and wellness. If you would like more information on implementing a health and wellness company for your business, please contact Managed Care Partners.