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Paid To Be Healthy?

Can you be paid to be healthy?  At first glance, many people may say no, or might think of jobs like being a personal trainer.

While being a personal trainer would technically be getting paid for being healthy, I’m really talking about your current job.  Many companies are seeing a lot of value in paying employees for leading more healthy lifestyles.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but think of it this way:

  • A healthier workforce is cheaper to insure.
  • A healthier workforce is more productive.
  • A healthier workforce is more dependable.

Those are three really excellent reasons for a company to encourage, and pay you to be healthier.  There are other ways to be “paid” for being healthier, such as smoking cessation.  Many companies offer free smoking cessation programs, and usually provide lower insurance rates for non-smokers.

Weight management is another common program that employers offer, and much of it is handled in your free time with a counselor over the phone.  Diets such as the slow carb diet can be discussed with your counselor to ensure that it may be the right fir for your needs.

Saving money on health insurance, and free smoking-cessation programs are definitely a form of being paid for being healthier, and you’ll only reap the benefits.  According to this article from Time, about 60% of big companies offer Wellness Programs.  Wellness Programs is generally a codename for “we pay you to do healthy things.”

How Do I Find Out?

The best way is to speak with someone in human resources.  Wellness Programs are starting to become more widely accepted, so it is possible that your company just hasn’t gotten the word out yet.  Many companies will also outsource the wellness program to companies who specialize in it.

That’s what my company does.  The allow an outside health company serve the program.  They provide the free health screenings,  set all of the activity criteria, and our health coaches work for them.

They’ll Share Information!

I can only speak for U.S. laws, but these programs are governed by the same doctor patient confidentiality laws.  The other problem I have with this argument is: if you’re in poor enough health that you’d think your employer would do something, why wouldn’t you want to be in better health?

When all things are considered, a company can’t build motivation in you, it has to be something you want to do.  The wellness programs are great for getting you started, and giving you that initial push.  If you want to make a change, and your company offers the program, then take advantage of it.  It may be just the thing you need to help you out of bed on one of those days where you just don’t feel motivated.

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