AHA Strongly Urges Employee Wellness Programs

by: Nichole Gunn November 15, 2010

Companies are noting the benefits of employee wellness, and they are encouraged by The American Heart Association (AHA) to keep steadfast in initiating and continuing these incentives as they have proven to not only benefit the workers’ overall health, but also reduce the company’s health insurance costs.

The Shreveport Times reported that the AHA uses its Start! program to urge businesses to implement employee wellness program incentives. The program offers suggestions for incentives that companies can use, such as “time off, reduced gym membership costs, or even setting up special exercise areas at work.”

To further initiate fitness into workers’ daily lives, the AHA also organizes a national event every April, National Start! Walking Day. The organization also provides a Fit Friendly award for companies that implement solid and effective wellness programs.

Emphasizing the positive long-term effect on healthcare costs, AHA advises that motivating employees toward a healthier lifestyle, including regular exercise is good for the employees’ and company’s bottom line. According to AHA statistics, “lack of exercise and poor diet are responsible for at least 25 percent of all U.S. adult healthcare costs, and for each dollar a company spends on a wellness program, it can receive up to $3.”