Well Now…

by Deborah Z Mark

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healthy living

Employee wellness programs are quickly gaining popularity, and for good reason. Employer paid health care plans are a major factor in attracting and retaining quality employees. As health care costs skyrocket, employers continue to search for ways to keep associated expenses down.

Options

One option is to take advantage of the increasing availability of social media services and apps.  Here’s a partial list to get you started, courtesy of Workforce.com:

  • Hotseat:  This is a brand new app offered by Context Communication Consulting. It allows employees to set alerts to remind them to get up and move during the workday. Employees can use the app alone, in groups, or for team challenges. Workers can monitor and share their progress through the network, and employers keep track through a Web portal.  The app is scheduled to debut this month.
  • Limeade:  One of the first social wellness platforms (6 years old), based in Bellevue, Washington. Allows employees to set health or fitness goals, monitor their progress and share how they’re doing in an online community. Chipotle Mexican Grill and Intuit are 2 of Limeade’s approximately 50 customers.
  • ShapeUp:  Offers a virtual, private social network that employees can use to create profiles, share health and fitness goals and interests, and participate in group challenges. Company co-founder Rajiv Kumar expects a mobile app to be available later this year. Based in Providence, Rhode Island, the company has approximately 250 clients, including Aetna, CVS, and Sprint Nextel Corp.
  • KeasAn online social game platform. Employees are grouped in teams of 6 to meet health and fitness challenges, earn points and share updates via a Twitter-style news feed. Keas has partnered with Brain Research, Inc. to incorporate brain fitness games into its offerings.  Its clients include Bechtel Corp. and Pfizer. The startup company is based in San Francisco.
  • WalkingSpree:  An online corporate walking program that is built around a USB pedometer that employees wear while they walk. They connect to an online network by plugging into a PC or MacOS device. They can join clubs, check in on friends, keep a journal, even win prizes. Clients include Verisk Health and American Financial Group, Inc., which WalkingSpree says saved $9.27 in employee health care costs for every $1 spent on the program.
  • Virgin HealthMiles: Yes, that Virgin. Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has come up with a venture that offers multiple social wellness options. A 12-week activity program, pedometer and heart rate monitors that partner with an online activity journal as well as biometrics tracking stations, an incentive program and an online portal that ties them all together are some of them. Coca-Cola Co. and Georgia-Pacific are just two of the Virgin HealthMiles 120+ U.S. corporate clients.

Stay Healthy

Healthy employees equal a healthy bottom line for your company. Take advantage of available social media and apps and start an employee wellness program!

It might be just what the doctor ordered.

Call managestaff with questions regarding employee benefits and wellness programs.  We’ll help.

managestaff.

It’s what we do.

Image: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net