Promoting Employee Fitness

Promoting Fitness
within Organizations
Programs for Healthy Employees
and Healthy Businesses
A Call to Action
We are under exercised as a nation. We look
instead of play. We ride instead of walk.
Our existence deprives us of the minimum of
physical activity essential for healthy living.
John F. Kennedy
December 5, 1961
Promoting Fitness at Work
The goal of worksite wellness program is
to reduce the number of lifestyle
diseases adding to employer and
employee healthcare costs.
• Management viewpoint
Promoting Fitness at Work
The goal of worksite wellness program is
to encourage employees to adopt
healthy lifestyle behaviors to achieve
and/or maintain a high quality of life.
• Health Professional viewpoint
Promoting Fitness at Work
The goal of worksite wellness program is
for my employer to help me learn healthy
habits and new activities that can help
me and my family live a healthier life.
• Employee viewpoint
Promoting Fitness at Work
Happy, healthy and having a great time!
Promoting Fitness at Work
The goal of worksite wellness program is to
make me humiliate myself by dancing in the
break room, get sweaty in my work clothes,
discuss my weight with my coworkers, make
me lie about what I really ate for dinner last
night and ultimately to remove all of the “good
stuff” from of the vending machines.
Viewpoint of many – you know who you are.
Promoting Fitness at Work
You took the
Snickers out of
the vending
Welcome to
Go eat an apple.
What Works?
from the top
What are the Basic Needs?
A designated staff person or team
Program appropriate resources
Financial resources
Patience and enthusiasm
Commitment from management
I’m an IT
How did I get
put in charge
of wellness?
Not so basic needs:
Health Promotion Management
Health Risks
Policy Changes
Injury risk
Chronic Illness
Environmental Support
Medical Costs
Administrative Changes
Work Culture Changes
Programs to Choose
Two main types of fitness promotion
programs for the workplace:
• Participation Only
• Results Based
Participation Based Programs
No goals or results are required
Incentives offered to participate
In some cases, there are
disincentives for not participating
Results Based Programs
Incentives offered for
attaining a specific goal
An outcome must be
achieved, this makes RBP’s
more heavily regulated.
Fitness Promotion Programs
Employee Health Promotion Program Offered
Participation Based
Results Based
Program concludes or reaches a target date
Outcome not considered
Outcome measured
Incentives given to employees in program
Based on participation
Based on outcome
Program Differences
Very accessible
Reasonably accessible depending on
program goal
Minimal data to track
Data must be collected and managed
Fun and generally good for staff moral
Fun and generally good for staff moral
Fairly inexpensive
Program goal determines cost
Good for all businesses - especially
those just getting started
Good for businesses with strong
management support
Good for gathering employee input
Good for gather input and data
Employee Data
The Health Risk Assessment
• A health risk assessment is an assessment
tool or questionnaire designed to identify
health risks and outline information to assist
people in making healthful changes that
impact their health and prevent chronic
Popular tool for both participation and results
based programs.
Health Risk Assessments
HRA’s gather valuable
information about employees:
data must be held in strict
Employers must also ensure
that HRA’s are compliant with
all regulations.
Legal Notes
Laws governing wellness programs:
Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
California Fair Employment and
Housing Act (FEHA)
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination
Act (GINA)
Conduct a Worksite Wellness or
Health & Fitness Audit
What are we doing well?
What can we do better?
• Policies/Handbooks
• Health insurance
• Newsletters
• Vending machines
• Flexible schedules
• Healthier celebrations
• What in our work
environment supports health
Survey Employees
What do employee’s want?
Onsite fitness classes?
Subsidized gym memberships?
Lunchtime classes on nutrition
and healthy lifestyle?
Pleasant and inviting break areas?
Company softball team?
What do they perceived as barriers?
Review the Literature
A meta-review of 42 published studies of worksite health
promotion programs shows:
Average 28% reduction in sick leave
Average 26% reduction in health costs.
Average 30% reduction in workers'
compensation and disability claims costs.
Average $5.93-to-$1 savings-to-cost ratio.
Partnership for Prevention
Grow An Advisory Board
Get administration involved.
Recruit managers and staff
members who are motivated
and will serve as role models.
Evaluate employee survey
responses and brainstorm.
Determine goals.
Assign tasks.
Assess Your Resources
Discuss what can your
employees contribute?
What local resources may
meet your needs?
Do any online or social media
programs meet your needs?
Choose Your Path
Champion your program
Be open to input
Be prepared to roll with
the punches
There is no wrong way
Assess Your Efforts
Give your employees real,
personal data.
Give your management
usable data.
Celebrate positive trends
Use data to plan next steps
Fitness Promotion Contributes to
Healthy Communities
Healthy worksites
contribute to a healthy
community culture.
Healthy lessons
learned at work get
shared at home.
One or both parents
work = opportunity
Choose Your Program
“Pick battles big enough to matter,
small enough to win.”
~Jonathan Kozol, On Being a Teacher