How Does Your Employer Encourage Physical Fitness and Health? 

Besides offering you your standard health care package, how does your employer support/encourage physical fitness and good health? I work for the state of Indiana.  Let me tell you, Indiana actually offers pretty good health coverage. I won’t go into details on how much I pay a month for it (you might hate me after that), but there are some incentives involved such as not being a smoker.  

For me, I have one of the worst jobs for staying physically fit, I spend a lot of my days sitting at a desk.  During the summer, over my lunch breaks, I will walk along the river walk that is actually just a crossed the river from where I work.  It’s just what I need during a long day at work, one hour of just walking.  However, during the winter months, it gets tough to keep moving during the work day.  Lucky for me I drink a lot of water that makes me go to the bathroom often so I am forced to move. 

Does your employer offer you special deals to join the local YMCA, or fitness center? Our office director was able to get us a discounted rate at the local center that is run by the Salvation Army (believe me, it is a beautiful facility).  I would take advantage of this but I really don’t live close enough to down town South Bend to get my money’s worth?  The state does offer discounts to gyms but most of those are in Indianapolis.  

Maybe your employer pays for rave entries.  I have a friend in the area whose employer pays for up to $25 per race of his entry fee.  All he has to do is prove through race results that he ran the race. Pretty sweet deal, right? I am a little jealous of him to say the least. But could you imagine the reaction of taxpayers if the state was paying for race entries???

Probably the best thing that the state of Indiana has done to encourage physical fitness to its employees is offering Humana Vitality.  It is a program that you enroll in that allows you to earn points for being physically active as well as making regular dental and wellness checkups.  Each point is worth 1 vitality buck. So let’s say you go out for a run in the morning, that’s worth 15 points. Let’s say you do 5 runs between Monday and Sunday, you get a bonus 50 points.  You ran a 5k race, that’s 250 points. Run a marathon or half marathon, that’s 500 points.  Also, it’s not just limited to me.  My wife and kids are able to take part as well. 

With the vitality bucks, you can use them in the Humana Store.  Items you can purchase range from gift cards, iPads, iPods, Garmins, Fitbits, and even bicycles. After less than one year on the program, we had enough points to get these:

  Two brand new Garmin 235’s. We will have to pay taxes on them later, but still can’t beat the price. At this rate, we can get the most up to date Garmins every year. 
So what does your employer do to encourage physical fitness? Anything? Nothing?

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4 thoughts on “How Does Your Employer Encourage Physical Fitness and Health? 

  1. The company I am currently with doesn’t offer any type of health incentive. However when I was working at a sporting goods store we had a lot more incentives. I lived in a big ski town so we received free ski passes, we got big discounts on equipment. The company also offered discount gym memberships as well as did several “biggest loser” type competitions throughout the year with prizes. I don’t know if the difference is solely with the company’s or if being in different states (Colorado vs Texas) has something to do with it.

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  2. That’s incredible! My employer has an onsite workout center w/a gym and classes and an onsite medical center. Both are pretty sweet. We also get discounted health insurance for not smoking and being at a ‘normal’ BMI. But – no way to earn points for a Garmin.

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