Pounds for Sale: Technology Supports Wellness Program with Cash Rewards

By SHRM Online staff Jan 20, 2011

California-based Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach estimate that two-thirds of their 5,000 employees are overweight or obese. To help employees start the new year off right, Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children's, as part of their Good Life Campaign, launched incentaHEALTH, an employee wellness program emphasizing lifestyle changes that lead to lifelong healthy weight.

The program is helping employees manage their weight through:

Daily personalized e-mails with nutrition and exercise recommendations, encouragement to succeed, meal ideas and goals.

Workplace weigh-ins on private kiosks.

Cash rewards for maintaining long-term health improvements.

In addition, participants have access to an online fitness guide, communication with a personal trainer, an online success journal and weekly e-mail progress reports.

All employee participants receive incentives every quarter and can earn cash rewards for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

Nutrition and Exercise Stressed

Six days a week, the program encourages employees to make reasonable food selections and control their portion size. It allows one day a week for employees to enjoy food selections they crave and a return to healthy eating habits the next day.

The second focal point of the program is exercise. Employees are encouraged to be more active by taking walks on breaks using the "fitness walk" path on campus and taking the stairs instead of the elevator to burn more calories each day.

"Employees and their dependents are shown exactly how to eat and exercise and are incentivized to keep the weight off," said Todd McGuire, co-founder and chief technology officer of incentaHEALTH.

"It's exciting to see our employees' enthusiasm for participating in this employee wellness program, for their own health and that of their families," said Mark Roberts, physician ambassador of the Good Life Employee Wellness Program at Long Beach Memorial and Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach.

Related Articles:

U.S. Businesses Spend More on Wellness Programs, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, January 2011

Digital Health Coaching: Reaching Out to Older Workers, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, November 2010

Related Video:

Technology for Promoting Fitness, SHRM Multimedia, 2010

Points-Based Wellness Programs, SHRM Multimedia, 2009

Quick Links:

SHRM Online Benefits Discipline

SHRM Online Health Care Reform Resource Page

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