As the World Turns – Carrots win!
We recently wrote about employers penalizing employees for unhealthy behavior. Our position was that positive incentives are preferable to negative incentives. One very high profile example of a company proposing to use negative incentives was Clarian Health in Indiana, they were going to dock employees with high bmi’s, high cholesterol, etc up to $5 per unhealthy condition.Bad idea! Well they recently changed their mind after coming under pressure from their employees as reported last Thursday on the Inside Indiana Business website.
Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) recently invited entrepreneurs on Linked in to answer the question: “How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?” One of the most popular responses was to make health care more accessible to small businesses and their employees. The answer continues to be prevention. Obesity is estimated to contribute 60-70% of medical care costs. The World Health Organization projections indicate that 30% of the world’s adults are overweight – in the US this figure is over 60%. By 2015 WHO projects 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and 700 million will be obese. We are spending 16% of our GDP on health care costs and many employers list health care costs for employees as their single biggest expense outside of salaries.
We have to make changes not just at the individual level, but also on a societal level. We have to change the conditions in which people live, work and play. Businesses have to be part of the solution and worksite wellness programs are one way to start.