Companies Embrace Technology to Help Workers Shed Pounds

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • What does a company want from its employees?

    • Commitment
    • Good work ethic
    • Honesty
    • Professionalism

     

    They also want someone who is going to show up for work regularly, and that requires good health.  Obesity or carrying significant excess weight contributes to more sick days, more expensive healthcare and more than likely impacts productivity.  In fact, obesity-related absenteeism and decreased productivity at work, costs employers as much as $26.4 billion yearly.  So it is in your employers best interest to help you to shed excess weight and improve your health profile.  You will benefit and his bottomline will certainly benefit as well.  Some companies already have onsite gyms, or provide workplace classes.  Some companies also offer on site nutritionists and health coaches.  Still, many employees pass on these opportunities.   What’s a company to do?

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    here comes a new wave of helpful products - Weight loss gadgets, apps and internet services to the rescue.  According to industry experts, companies are willing to subsidize or completely underwrite the costs of technologies, just like they do for gym memberships.  Corporate wellness technology can have huge payoffs if it resonates with employees, who don’t want to access traditional diet and fitness opportunities.  And it’s worth noting that Weight Watchers and NutriSystem among others, are embracing this technology need and creating a whole new way to access their programs…online.  Recently The Wall Street Journal featured a report on Retrofit, a new start up.  Retrofit uses software, consumer electronics and personalized online appointments with health experts to help people shed pounds.  Retrofit is especially helpful for professionals who travel, and for those who want to avoid the gym, because they are extremely overweight, or simply feel inhibited in a community environment.  Skyping with your assigned health coach and using wearable activity trackers keep you engaged on the Retrofit program.

     

    Retrofit also has a payment model that is quite unique.  Plan one is a company discount for employees who pay all fees.  Plan two allows the company to subsidize the entire cost when employees lose 10% of their weight.   Plan three allows the company to provide a subsidy up front, and Retrofit then offers employees up to a 50% discount on services and use of the technology.  Weight Watchers is now offering members a wearable device, ActiveLink, that offers users fitness reminders and reportable activity data. 

     

    Sugarcrew.com is an online company that specifically targets employees who have diabetes.  Employees with the condition follow specific regimen recommendations, with support from the site.  SugarCrew.com has gathered preliminary data that suggests a $275 savings for every $100 companies spend on weight management using the online site.  Multiply the savings by hundreds of employees, and the savings on healthcare and improved productivity are impressive.

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    If your company does not offer these options, then you can invest in a pedometer, use free online tracking and calorie-counting and even skype with a support “buddy” or health professional.  The YMCA or other local community centers may also have subsidized workout or nutrition opportunities.  Another good place to search is at a local university, which may be able to connect you with an upper classman or master’s level student studying in an area that falls under lifestyle sciences.  master's level students often need clinical experience  or in-the-field experience, while mentors supervise their efforts.

     

    Is a high tech approach the right motivator for you??

     

     

     

     

Published On: November 26, 2012