Companies Get Creative to Cut Healthcare Premiums

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

How would it feel to get a 30-minute exercise break every day at work? What if your employer not only paid you to exercise, but provided you with a gym and personal trainer? That’s exactly what Clif Bar does for their employees.

So many companies have made the connection between exercise and good health that they are actually providing their employees with easy ways to exercise in an effort to cut healthcare costs. I would like to see more of this happening.

I actually worked at a company that paid us to exercise three times a week and provided a gym downstairs. Ironically, very few people took advantage of the facilities or benefits. The ones that did took advantage of the extra 30 minutes by walking to a local restaurant instead of driving. While I sweated away on my treadmill in the basement, I thought it wasn’t quite fair that walking to a restaurant counted. I guess it was better than driving.

This article says that companies that invest in health maintenance like providing a gym for its employees will save money on healthcare costs, but I would like to see some hard numbers. I didn’t really see people sweating it out during those extra 30 minutes at my former employer’s company. I wonder if policies like this are actually helpful or if they are just a bandaid on the problem.

Still, it was nice being paid to exercise three times a week…


6 Responses to “Companies Get Creative to Cut Healthcare Premiums”

  1. www.iportion.com Says:

    I should be able to get gym access through my husband’s work soon. I think if more places want to healthy employees Employees could do. 1. Walking clubs. “THIS could be cheap” With portable head sets they could have walking meetings. 2. WW at work. 3. Provide healthy meals at work. 4. Get an Aerobics instructor three times a week.

  2. earme Says:

    I don’t think I’d like to work out with most of my co-workers. I’d be too self conscious and I really don’t want to be sweaty and smelly in front of them.

    There was a shower at work at one of my previous jobs. It was at the back of the offices, so you had to walk thru all the cubicles to get to the shower. One woman started jogging during her lunch hour, but stopped after a week because she felt too self conscious and it took too much time to shower and get her hair and makeup done again.

    I’d be more comfortable if they (employers) gave a free or discounted membership to a local gym.

  3. Charlie Weiss Says:

    I’m with Earme. A discount to a local gym would be far more practical than tring to workout at work. Unless the company built a full blown gym that you could attend when it was convienient for you.

  4. chris Says:

    my company provides a gym at work, which is nice, creates and promotes a healthy atmosphere at work. and it’s a nice break in the day to take your mind off work.

    but I do have to agree it creates some awkward situations. the showers are an open room, so being in the altogether with your co-workers is a little strange. i always try to go during low-traffic hours.

  5. anet Says:

    walking groups would be great, e.g. have walking ‘coaches’ that lead brisk walks every 1/2 hr from 11a-2:30p, than again at quitting times from 3p-5.30p. That way at least the first shift is encouraged to get a bit of movement in their day…. NOW how can we get the cafeteria to serve healthier fare?

  6. Meri Says:

    The company I work for has a gym in the basement at our head office. I absolutely loved it when I was still based there — I used to go before work every morning and it was a great start to the day that wasn’t too time-consuming.

    They had trainers come in so there were classes first thing in the morning, during lunchtime and also straight after work. It was absolutely fantastic and quite a lot of people took advantage of it — and this in a country where state healthcare is standard anyway!

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