Make Fitness Part of the Workday for Employee Health
If you’re a regular reader of the Hanson Medical Systems blog, you already know how important physical fitness is for the cost of health care. The price of American health care gets spread around to many different entities. As individuals, we pay premiums on our own health insurance, as well as out of pocket costs for individual aspects of care. In addition to individual costs, health care providers sometimes take losses to absorb unpaid bills; taxes and health care premiums rise; and governments subsidize programs, often at a budgetary loss.
The conversation surrounding American health care costs is often limited to a discussion of financial allocation: “If we just set the right budget, everyone can have adequate health care!” And while there is something to be said for more efficient financial health care systems, the cost of health care can be dramatically diminished if Americans just live healthier lifestyles.
If you are an employer with a health care plan in place, it is important for you to create a situation where employees can make fitness part of their everyday routine. Hanson Medical Systems can provide in-depth health care consulting services to fine-tune your plan, but some of these methods are very easy to understand. Here are some of the best ways to boost employee health with simple changes to the workplace environment.
- Make People Go Outside. This might seem radical, but it’s really not. Throughout the workday, you compel your employees to go various places – to the conference room, to their cubicles, etc. What if, for 15 minutes a day, you schedule time for people to get out of their seats, walk outside, and stretch? Studies show that this simple change can boost employee health and productivity. It’s also a strong, tangible way to promote healthy living every single day. This isn’t a crazy suggestion. Your workplace, your rules.
- Onsite Fitness. Many employers offer full scale fitness centers onsite. This is a major perk. Even if you aren’t ready to spend the money on a complete fitness center, perhaps you can use your existing onsite clinic as a hub for one or two fitness machines. Even a simple treadmill, stairmaster, or set of dumbbells can be a refreshing and healthy way for employees to break up the monotony of a long workday.
- Healthy Snacks. Do you have a contract with a vending machine company that supplies fatty, carbohydrate-laden snacks? Why not work with a company that provides healthy snacks? If you provide onsite dining, make sure that you offer healthy foods made with whole food ingredients. Just because cheap food saves money doesn’t mean that it’s the best option overall. Healthier food promotes better health overall, which can save you tens of thousands in health care per individual over a decade.
Corporate health is an investment, one that you share with each employee on your payroll. It’s a challenge for individuals to start investing time and energy in their long term health, but there are lots of ways that you can help incentivize these behaviors. Hanson Medical Systems can help.