Friday, June 4, 2010

Employees Earn Cash for Exercising More

“How much money would it take to get you to lose some serious weight? Many employers are betting they can find your price. At least a third of U.S. companies offer financial incentives, or are planning to introduce them, to get their employees to lose weight or get healthier in other ways. ‘There's been an explosion of interest in this,’ said Kevin Volpp, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Health Incentives. OhioHealth, a central Ohio hospital chain, last year embarked on a program that paid employees to wear pedometers and get paid for walking. The more they walk, the more they win. OhioHealth set the maximum reward for its step-counting program at $500. Half of the 9,000 employees at the chain's five main hospitals signed up, more than $377,000 in rewards have already been paid out, and many workers tell of weight loss and a sudden need for slimmer clothes. Health officials lament that more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight and one-third obese, and lecture on fat's role in diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. The problem has a huge economic impact, too...

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