Promoting Employee Health and Fitness: Carrot or Stick?

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It’s great to have positive reinforcements and incentives for staying in shape. But what if you were facing actual financial penalties for not improving your own health and fitness?

According to this recent article, employees at the Cleveland Clinic are currently facing this very threat: get healthy or pay more–a whopping 21 percent more–for their health insurance. Sounds an awful lot like a “stick” approach, doesn’t it?

Not at all, says the Cleveland Clinic. The company is not actually trying to threaten its workers. Rather, it wants to provide some easily accessible ways for them to get in shape. Just a few examples of their available opportunities include free fitness center memberships, Weight Watchers meetings and yoga classes. Participation in at least one of these options allows employees to pay significantly less toward their health insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, some workers who choose not to participate in any programs will be responsible for paying the higher insurance rates. To many observers, this is a controversial approach. The reality of business, however, means that some employers have to pay higher rates for certain employees, and that they often have no choice but to pass on some of the burden for paying to those employees.

The good news is that this program appears to be successful so far, especially when the workers lead by example and avoid lecturing their co-workers. Instead, they teach them how to set goals and track their progress. Positive incentives seem to be the key to making healthy choices.

Nexercise is another “carrot” approach that can help with tracking workouts. Our fun mobile apps will keep you motivated and reward your efforts. Get started today! Invite your co-workers to join you in a fitness challenge and make working out fun again.

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