We are all familiar with the benefits of exercise, a healthy diet, and overall fit lifestyle. Exercise has been linked to lengthening life spans, reducing stress & depression, increasing your energy, and aiding in weight management along with a number of rewards. Combined with sound nutrition, this healthy lifestyle can help in preventing a number of illnesses and conditions: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and in many cases, cancer.
For years, we have used the benefits of exercise as a reason to get active, join a health club, and participate in recreational activities. However, in the past few years, the number of health club members have remained the same, at about 16% of the total American population over the age of 6. Another 3% utilize their health clubs as non-member patrons. In a recent study conducted by the Physical Activity Council, it was found that over 64 million Americans do not participate in any form of physical activity. Cost and convenience are prevailing barriers that keep Americans from joining gyms and engaging in physical activity.
It’s time to think outside the box–outside the traditional model of a brick and mortar facility. With a new national health care plan incorporating built-in incentives for workplace wellness programs, now is the best time for health & sports clubs, fitness professionals, and human resource specialists to work together for the better health of employees, their families, and in turn, an American public in need of the benefits gained from physical activity and healthy behavior.
The following blog series will discuss the benefits of a corporate health program for employers and employees. I will also cover some of the incentives available at the federal level to businesses and how your company can collaborate with a local club or professional in developing your own workplace wellness program.
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