There has been a lot of talk about incentives and stimulus plans. Everything from cars to furniture can be purchased at discounted prices and interest rates. Though nothing new, many companies have implemented wellness incentives to employees, in an effort to lower health insurance premiums. In an economy where every dollar matters, employees are realizing that not only does participation in a wellness program, save them money, but it improves their fitness level, increases energy to accomplish daily work, and reduces stress.
One area school system offers teachers’ wellness points for taking charge of their health. Points are awarded for having an annual eye exam, mammogram, gynecological exam, dental check-ups, and glucose screenings. Those teachers who earned four points were eligible for a drawing. The prize was one year FREE health insurance. The logic behind the incentive is that taking care of yourself through regular health screening, results in your chances of early detection and diagnosis of illness will improve your chance for full recovery. The flip side to the contest is that if you don’t take care of yourself by doing such things as, losing your excess weight, or doing what you can to reduce your risk for developing diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, you risk losing your insurance coverage. Other incentive programs include exercising a required number of times per week.
If all companies came on board with health initiatives, and employees’ gave full participation, it could be phenomenal how we could lower medical costs as a whole. Our government can supply all the health plans it wants, but these won’t make our nation healthier. Our health and wellness is in our own hands! We must assume more responsibility to take care of our health. Every day we make decisions that impact us in a negative or positive way. Every day we make directions about our health. Maintaining heart and bone health is a choice! What we weigh is a choice! Making exercise part of our daily routine is a choice! Handling stress in a positive way is a choice! What we feed our bodies and minds is a choice! Neglecting our spiritual life is a choice! When we make healthy choices, we get positive results.
In a goal oriented society, one would think that it is a no-brainer to make choices that result in positive outcomes. Aside from illness and diseases, over which we have no control, health and wellness is a choice. I don’t know about you, but that’s incentive enough for me.