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Motivating Healthy Behavior at Work

More U.S. employers are offering workers tangible incentives to adopt healthy habits, and the trend is gaining momentum worldwide, according to an article published in Benefits Quarterly (2008; [second quarter], 12–22). In addition to providing educational sessions, many companies now reward employees for participating in healthy activities, achieving certain fitness goals or adhering to longer-term health maintenance plans. Activities that employers typically reward include taking a health risk assessment, participating in workplace health challenges and tracking healthy living activities. Rewards vary and may include cuts in healthcare premiums, contributions to health
savings accounts, merchandise, vacation time or cash.

According to a 2007 Buck Consultants survey of 555 employers, the practice of offering rewards for healthy
behavior will more than double over the next 2–3 years.
As more companies adopt wellness, health promotion
or health improvement programs, the opportunities for fitness professionals to work with corporate workers will also grow, since the majority of these programs include
increasing physical activity.

For more information about the survey, go to www.bucksurveys.com.



Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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