Americans know health is important, in fact, we are reminded daily. The American Heart Association symbol on the yellow Cheerios box, the Surgeon General’s warning on a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, Weight Watchers commercials, and six-pack abs gracing the front of Women’s Health magazine remind us of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
Despite the daily reminders, taking action to live a healthier life can be a challenge. According to the International Food Information Council Foundation, “The vast majority of Americans believe it’s possible to have a great deal of control over their level of physical activity, the healthfulness of their diet and their weight, yet far fewer are actually taking that control.”
Could equating health to tangible real dollars help people see the immediate value of tacking action and embracing a healthier lifestyle? According to the foundation’s study, “More than half of Americans agree that they would rather lose $1,000 than gain an additional 20 pounds.”
It’s hard to evaluate the importance of this statistic without looking further at details like age, income, and current weight; however, the question alone brings attention to the importance of placing a monetary value on health.
What if we slightly altered the question asked in the study, and instead asked: how much would I have to pay you to lose 20 pounds? Many employers are asking this exact question. Employers are attaching financial incentives to their corporate wellness programs to further encourage employees to engage in healthy activity, and it’s working!
Employers want their employees to be healthy for a number of reasons including lowering healthcare costs, increasing productivity, decreasing absenteeism, and increasing employee satisfaction. For many employers, the best way to encourage healthy behavior is through financial incentives such as HSA dollars, additional vacation days, or cash rewards.
How much would your employer have to pay you to lose 10lbs? Let us know @getwellable
For more on the International Food Information Council Foundation’s study: http://www.foodinsight.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=rZGI8ERlGXk%3d&tabid=65