Employee health care options and wellness programs are becoming an increasingly hot topic. Even the federal government is doing what it can to insert itself into the discussion, demanding that restaurants, schools, food manufacturers, and vending machines make a point of being more open about calories and ingredients.
But even if more efforts are made to display the results that people can expect from the choices that they make, they must be given a way to apply what they learn with healthy alternatives.
One restaurant that has taken something of a beating for its menu is McDonalds. While there are choices that may not be in the best interest of someone who is overweight, there are also options available for those who are trying to watch what they eat. In this particular case, not only are these options available to McDonalds’ employees, but also to their customers.
Someone who recently decided to take on the argument of fast-food restaurants and healthy food choices is a science teacher in Iowa, John Cisna. Keeping himself in line with a 2000 calorie diet, he ate at McDonalds for 90 days straight. Interestingly, he managed to lose weight. However, he was also careful about his choices, often sticking with McDonalds’ healthier options for his meals such as oatmeal, salad and fruit. Nevertheless, he didn’t deny himself the occasional Big Mac and value size fries.
As for other industries, information is becoming more available to businesses that highlights the benefits to all companies in regard to offering healthy options and wellness programs to their employees. Employees of those companies are generally happier and more productive.
Healthy food options, gym memberships and wellness services demonstrates to employees that those in management positions care about the health of their workers. And it’s apparently a win-win.
When businesses offer wellness programs, there is great potential for those businesses to actually save money on insurance costs, and on hours lost due to sickness.
One of the most common struggles among those in the work force is depression, ranking number three behind family crisis and stress. And one of the best ways to treat depression is with exercise.
While a person who is depressed may not feel like exercising and may need some encouragement and perhaps a good support system to remain consistent, the release of endorphins that comes with regular exercise is a natural way to get some relief.
Unfortunately, many employees, especially those with families, struggle with finding the time to exercise. Since an incentive can often help people to re-prioritize what is important to them, some insurance companies and businesses alike are offering discounts on items such as name brand running shoes, popular gyms, and diet programs. Some also offer plenty of time on lunch break to fit in a Weight Watchers meeting.
Helping employees to find the best time to fit exercise into their busy schedule makes the business day less stressful in the short run, and ultimately more productive and prosperous for everyone’s bottom line.
[Image: williamcho ]