Imagine you’re reaching for the last glazed doughnut, when someone says they will give you $20 to put it down. Would you find yourself eating the doughnut or opting for the money? Hopefully, the money would be enough of an incentive to decline the doughnut. Incentives motivate some employees to engage in healthier behaviors that yield weight improvement, and are an excellent way to keep employees proactive on their path to a healthier lifestyle. If your office is considering implementing a corporate weight loss program, a great way to ensure a more successful turnout is to offer an incentive for adopting a healthier lifestyle. For example, you can get paid to lose weight!
Of course, a monetary prize isn’t the only option for a corporate weight loss program. Paid time off and other prizes are also excellent motivational triggers that will encourage employees to engage in healthier habits. Incentives work by providing a prize that an employee will receive once the objective is met. With increased health improvements, one can earn a more valuable prize. Incentives are a way to motivate participants to reach the finish line and maintain their weight loss resolutions. Corporate weight loss programs tend to work better when weight loss incentives are up for grabs. They can even provide friendly competition within the company!
Corporate weight loss programs are an excellent way to motivate employees to finally learn healthier lifestyle habits. A few helpful tips on how to use incentives in a wellness program are as follows:
Ask employees to pay a small fee for the contest. This will keep them invested and also contribute to the cash prize for the overall winner. Include smaller monetary prizes for the second and third place winners. The contest can also be split by gender, as men typically lose weight at a faster rate than women.
Offer a free paid day off to all who lose a certain amount of weight. Consider offering this prize to those who have lost at least 5% of their body fat over the course of the contest. A small incentive can go a long way and keep participants active throughout the course of the contest.
Keep the focus on the overall concept of a better and healthier lifestyle. It’s important that participants know the overall goal of the contest is to improve their well-being, and the incentives are simply there to honor their hard work.
There are many excellent ways to use incentives in a corporate weight loss challenge. But one thing is certain…incentives are excellent motivation boosters when used in a friendly and competitive corporate-sponsored weight loss program.
How Can You Set Up a Corporate Weight Loss Challenge?
Starting a corporate weight loss challenge is a relatively simple process that can yield huge results. With the growing obesity epidemic in today’s society, the demand for such a program in the workplace is crucial. Listed below are steps to begin a corporate weight loss challenge that could ultimately change the long-term health of your work force.
Choosing a wellness program provider. A wellness program provider will help set up and distribute information and tools that will guarantee a successful program. Information and knowledge are the most crucial components for anyone considering a healthier approach to their current lifestyle.
Determine how to measure success. For example, use a private weigh station “kiosk” that can track individual employee progress. The HEALTHspot kiosk (patented design by incentaHEALTH) collects authenticated weight (not self-reported) on a continuous basis across all worksites. This data is then used to track the success of participants and the related program success of reduced employer health care costs. The use of a private, biometric monitoring kiosk lets employees measure their progress when it is convenient for them. Simple to use and accurate, the HEALTHspot kiosk is a surefire way to ensure a successful weight loss program. More information about the HEALTHspot kiosk can be found here. The following video also explains how the kiosk works.
Establish a rewards system for improving health. This is an excellent way to motivate and keep employees active within the program. Prizes, such as paid-time-off hours or cash, are all excellent incentives that can keep employees motivated throughout the duration of a corporate weight loss challenge.
Tracking progress and discovering data correlations. The most crucial element of a corporate weight loss challenge is regular tracking or progress throughout the contest. Using the HEALTHspot kiosk can help monitor the progress of all participants, and determine the outcome when the contest is complete.
Evaluate the program and celebrate success. Evaluating the program and its effectiveness is key to yielding greater success in the future. Also, any successful corporate weight loss challenge should end with success stories and celebration of a job well done. Corporate meetings and staff meetings should dedicate a small amount of time to honor participants and winners within the program. Great health is something that should be commended. Sharing success stories of participants is an excellent way to increase the number of participants and ensure future challenges are successful.
Imagine a workplace full of happier, healthier employees. Health is one of the major concerns throughout the world. As obesity climbs and sedentary lifestyles increase, so have health complications and preventable diseases. Many people fall into a constant cycle of excuses, using lack of time as an excuse for not fitting exercise into their busy work and life schedules. Incentives are extremely effective motivators that can aid individuals on their journey toward a healthier life. A corporate weight loss challenge is an exceptional way to motivate employees to exercise and become more health conscious, while also providing motivational incentives. What are some of the other benefits of running a corporate weight loss challenge?
Happier, healthier employees! As already mentioned, a corporate weight loss challenge can lead to a healthier and happier employee. Employee health and happiness are extremely important to ensure productivity and low absenteeism. A major concern of all employers should be their employees’ health, both physical and mental.
Another result of a corporate weight loss challenge is the improved morale of all participating employees. Losing weight, especially in a slightly competitive setting, is an excellent morale booster. Participants can find joy in knowing they’re losing weight and becoming healthier week after week.
Corporate weight loss challenges can also lead to more productive employees. Healthy habits and exercise are incredible stress busters. A less stressed employee is a more productive employee. Statistics have shown that healthier employees are more productive overall.
Reducing absenteeism is also a direct result of a healthier lifestyle. Healthy eating and an active lifestyle lead to a stronger immune system, which in turn results in a healthier employee who misses fewer work days due to illness.
A corporate weight loss challenge can even save employers money. Lower health care costs are one of the biggest benefits of a corporate weight loss challenge. Find out more about how to lower your company’s health costs by clicking here.
One of the biggest issues affecting today’s workforce is the growing epidemic of obesity. Providing employees with practical tools and tips for living a healthier lifestyle is just one of the ways a corporate weight loss challenge can help to abolish the growing epidemic.
Obesity and weight related illnesses are steadily increasing. With sedentary workplaces and lifestyles, the need for a healthier lifestyle and reduction of body fat is essential. Many people are faced with a lack of motivation when it comes to taking the initiative to lose weight. Others eat for convenience and use work as an excuse, telling themselves they are too drained to work out after a long day at the office. However, a work implemented corporate weight loss challenge can help guide employees down a healthier path. So, why does it make sense to run a corporate weight loss challenge?
Employees spend more time at work with their co-workers than they do at home with family and friends. Many people enjoy the company of a workout partner, so it makes perfect sense to choose a co-worker to be your workout and weight loss buddy.
With vending machines in the workplace filled with highly processed foods and sugary beverages, it is difficult for employees to make healthy choices on their own.
If you work in an office, chances are your days are largely sedentary. Most office workers don’t move around enough during a work period to gain the health benefits of being on your feet. A corporate weight loss challenge can help workers come up with creative ways to stay active on the job.
There are natural opportunities for teams to form! Not only is a corporate weight loss challenge a great team building exercise, but it can also lead to tighter personal bonds with co-workers, as well as a competitive spirit that will have your employees striving for perfection.
Offering incentives and prizes for the biggest losers or challenge winners/participants is a great way to encourage employees to stick to their goals and be more proactive in their search for a healthier and slimmer lifestyle.
A recent study has found more evidence that rewarding individuals for losing weight improves outcomes in weight management programs. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic offered cash incentives to a group of participants if they were able to succeed at losing a target of 4 pounds per month.
According to the researchers the results for the incentive group were significantly better than the control group:
Study completion rates for the incentive groups were significant compared with the non-incentive groups: 62 percent versus 26 percent. In the incentive groups, participants’ mean weight loss was 9.08 pounds, compared with 2.34 pounds for the non-incentive groups.
This matches what incentaHEALTH sees in its corporate weight management programs. Incentives help increase initial program engagement, and boost long term program retention. Incentives can be the much-needed spark to get your employees to take that first step toward healthy eating and active living.
Any healthy diet starts with a healthy, wholesome breakfast. You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; well what you’ve heard is actually right! The importance of starting your day with a healthy breakfast can be directly attributed to overall health and well-being. Breakfast is undeniably the smartest way to begin your day, as it can help increase productivity and promote overall healthy lifestyles. In fact, individuals that regularly eat breakfast generally have smaller waistlines and get sick less often.
Starting your day with a well-balanced breakfast can help prevent overeating at your next meal, as well as helping control blood sugar levels throughout the day. If you wake up and make the choice to skip breakfast, then your body will be lacking the energy and nutrients it needs to perform at its best. When your body is in this “starvation mode,” your state of mind is not clear and any low quality substitute for real food will do. It is best to fill up on fiber, protein, and water-rich foods to help keep you full and satisfied for longer throughout the day. Eating a high quality breakfast each morning is a fantastic way to keep you from reaching for that pint of ice cream before bed or the bag of chips for an afternoon snack.
Breakfast helps with making smarter choices throughout the day and supplies the body with energy to get moving in the morning which leads to a more productive day in the workplace or at home. Don’t just take my advice for it; actually try implementing breakfast or improve the quality of your next breakfast! Does this seemingly small change make a powerful difference in your eating habits throughout the day? Research proves that it does, but you be the judge. If you need assistance applying healthier principles, find out if your workplace offers employee health and wellness programs. Many employee health programs actually offer incentives for improving your health while providing you with the motivation to make significant changes to your personal health and wellbeing.
You can prevent catching workplace illnesses with these tips!
Working in a contaminated environment can be rather uncomforting as you greatly hope to avoid your co-workers illnesses. It is to be expected that sick individuals will still come into work, subsequently increasing your risk for catching the same illness. What do you do to stay healthy when it seems that everyone in the office is sick? You may think that it’s inevitable to keep the sickness away but by taking the appropriate preventative actions you can greatly reduce your risk for catching an illness in the workplace. Here are a few ways to stay healthy when it seems that everyone in the workplace is getting sick:
Stay hydrated. Make sure you are staying properly hydrated to help keep any sickness at bay. The Institute of Medicine determined that the adequate water intake for men is roughly 3 liters per day, and for women about 2.2 liters per day.
Get quality sleep. High quality sleep is essential for good health, especially during cold and flu season. When we are sleep deprived, our immune system is weakened and our bodies are much more susceptible to developing a sickness like the cold or flu. The best time for reparative and restorative sleep for the body has shown to be between the hours of 10pm and 2am.
Eat smart. It might seem like common knowledge, but those who eat the healthiest often have the strongest immune systems. Fill your plate with an array of non-starchy vegetables to receive the most nutrition per calorie, and therefore keeping the immune system running strong with a surplus of vitamins and nutrients.
Wash your hands. Stop the spread of disease-causing germs and wash your hands often. By frequently washing your hands, you will wash away germs that you may have picked up from direct, or indirect, contact with co-workers and/or contaminated surfaces. Keep your hands clean by washing them with soap for at least 20 seconds. If using the sink is not an option, hand sanitizer in a suitable replacement, however, it is not as effective as using soap and water.
Take your vitamins. Vitamins deliver essential nutrients that you may not be getting from your diet. Not all multivitamins are created equal, so do your research and know your body’s individual needs.
As you can see, there are plenty of measures you can take to stay healthy in the workplace. If you do catch an illness, stay home and rest up for a quicker recovery and to prevent infecting others. If taking work off is not an option, be sure to keep coughs covered and hands clean in order to help reduce the chance of spreading your illness. If you find yourself getting sick regularly, consider making changes to your lifestyle. Request information from your employer on the employee health programs they may offer to increase your knowledge and improve your overall health and well-being.
If you work in a particularly stressful environment, you may be suffering from chronic stress and not even know it. Chronic stress occurs from repeated exposure to stressful situations, and this type of stress is not what are bodies are designed to handle. When our bodies are continuously stressed we release stress-related hormones, such as Cortisol, which can lead to health conditions like heart disease and obesity. Long-term stress causes a wear and tear on your mind and body, and ultimately leads to more severe health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, depression, and obesity. An individual’s job is one of the leading contributors to chronic stress. However, by taking actions to properly manage our stress the negative effects can be avoided.
Eat a balanced diet. Also, don’t forget breakfast! Make sure you are including enough protein, fiber, and water in your daily diet.
Engage in exercise. Physical activity is a great way to increase our endorphin levels which naturally results in the feeling of happiness.
Take a multivitamin. Multivitamins rich in vitamin C and B have been proven to help reduce stress.
Take time to laugh. Humor is a great way to relieve stress! Take some time throughout the day to laugh – you don’t have to be overly “professional” 24/7. Read a joke or look at funny pictures with your co-workers for a couple minutes. When we laugh our endorphin levels increase, releasing a “feel good” vibe.
Clear your mind. Step away from the computer for a moment and take a slow walk while incorporating deep breaths. Remove your mind from the problem at hand and just allow yourself a moment to calm down and bring your body back to homeostasis.
Get some fresh air. Remarkably, fresh air is actually an amazing stress reliever! If you find yourself under the crushing grip of stress, treat yourself to a short walk outside. You may even try suggesting that you have your next office meeting at the picnic table in the courtyard.
Go to bed earlier. Like most aspects of health, make sure you’re getting enough sleep! During the hours of 10pm-2am is the best time for restorative and reparative sleep.
If you have implemented some of these techniques and you still find yourself under a lot of stress, then find out if your employer offers employee health programs related to stress management. 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are related to the adverse effects of chronic stress which directly results in less productivity and can greatly impact your performance in the workplace. By making simple adjustments to your lifestyle you can manage stress and live a healthier life.
Look for opportunities to stay active at a sedentary job!
American’s spend roughly two thirds of their day at work and with technology advances, more and more jobs are able to be performed entirely from the home or office computer which has led to the ever so common “desk job.” Today, nearly 80% of jobs do not require any sort of physical activity and this increasing sedentary lifestyle is believed to be behind the growing trend of negative health effects including obesity, heart disease, increased stress levels, and other chronic illness. However, by making an effort to incorporate physical activity into your workday you can help reduce these risks and improve your overall health.
Exercise in the AM. Exercising in the morning will jump start your metabolism and leave you feeling more energized to take on the day. Even just taking a brisk walk around the block can do wonders in triggering a positive hormonal reaction for fat metabolism.
Use the stairs. Park further away from the building and instead of using the elevator, use the stairs whenever possible. Don’t be afraid to get your heart pumping during the work day.
Take small breaks. While sitting at your desk, make it a point to take small breaks to get out of your chair. Walk around the office or do a few stretches. You might even consider walking to the farthest bathroom located on the other side of the building.
Get moving. Give yourself an excuse to get moving by personally delivering messages to co-workers instead of sending emails or making phone calls to their office across the hall.
Add it in. Stand up or walk around during your next phone call. If you want to take it to the next level try multitasking with simple hands-free exercises like calf raises or wall sits.
Keep fitness equipment handy. Keep exercise bands or small weights in your office, or use an exercise ball as your desk chair for core and posture improvement.
Start an exercise challenge within your department. It can be as simple as challenging everyone to take 20 minutes away from their desk to go on a walk outside when the weather is nice.
There are many ways to add physical activity into your busy work schedule and just a slight adjustment to your daily routine can go a long way. You may also consider picking up a physical hobby (i.e. swimming, softball, Frisbee golf, etc.) outside of work or making it a point to stop by the gym on the way home from the office. Being active during the workday can greatly improve your overall health, well-being, and work productivity. Many companies offer employee wellness programs so consider asking your employer about the options they can provide. If you understand the results of the health decisions you make, it will empower you with desire to improve your overall health.
The Wall Street Journal has a nice story on the rise in popularity of smart pedometers and activity trackers like the Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band. I think we often think that we move more than we really do (the article states that the average person takes 5,117 steps per day). I have found that the simple act of wearing a pedometer makes more more conscious of how much (or little) I move. The result? I tend to move more! To put this to the test, incentaHEALTH has just launched its first client that is using the Fitbit Zip in conjunction with our kiosk-based wellness incentive program. We’ll be updating you on the results as they come in. Hopefully, employees who wear the Fitbit will end up experiencing better results on our program. Stay tuned.