Ode to Wellness: Paying it Forward

rapid_weight_lossDuring tough economic times like we’re experiencing here in the U.S. — where most companies are cutting back on benefits and laying people off left and right — the agency I work for has just offered us a pleasant surprise: we’re implementing a new wellness benefit.

After we undergo a complete physical on-site, we’ll be eligible to be reimbursed up to several hundred dollars a year to use towards health/wellness initiatives. This includes fitness equipment, weight loss programs, gym memberships, fitness classes, yoga, smoking cessation programs, massages, etc.

The theory is by investing in employees’ health now, it’ll (hopefully) cut down on future health insurance premiums, and (hopefully) keep employees who embrace the benefit healthy and happy, reducing the risk for many diseases and conditions.

Naturally, I was thrilled to hear the news — my gym membership will be covered now!

It means a lot to me to work for a company that is placing a value on wellness. I realize that this is usually one of the first things to get cut from benefits –and so I am more than grateful we’re implementing it now.

At my husband’s employer (a huge global company), they have a whole year-long, incentive-based wellness plan we’ve participated in for three years now. But this is new for my employer, and the timing couldn’t be better. Having just watched the Michael Moore movie SICKO, this really resonated with me.

The truth is, not all employers understand that it’s never too late to pay it forward, especially when it comes to our health.

How about you? Does your employer offer any wellness benefits?

11 thoughts on “Ode to Wellness: Paying it Forward

  1. That is so fantastic! My previous company (as of Thursday; I quit about 30 seconds before I was going to be laid off) had a deal with 24-hour fitness that let us get a discount but I didn’t use it (gyms are dangerous for me – I start overexercising and it’s no good). It was a really sweet gesture and I always thought it was very nice of them. I hope my next job offers something like that too! It’s really great when companies care about their employees that much 🙂

  2. my company will reimburse us for a portion of the WW dues if you complete a certain number of consecutive weeks, so i guess at least they’ve given it a try!

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