Healthy people makes a happy company

Avery Dennison logoAt my mom’s house this past weekend, I came across an Avery Dennison internal communications publication USA Connection.  I enjoyed reading the content because it allowed me to better understand my mom’s employer.  But, I also appreciated the objective served by the literature.  In fact, I was delighted that one of the main purposes of the publication was to promote employee wellness.

Half of the twelve articles addressed health-related topics including informative reports on corporate-sponsored health services, diet and nutrition tools and where to find low-cost prescriptions. But, the article I found most inspiring A model of a five-pound fat masstold the story of a nearly 350-pound employee who made the decision to get in shape after seeing a five-pound mass of human fat on display at a Painesville health center. 

According to the story, a few years ago, he began working toward a goal of losing 120 pounds.  Avery helped him every step of the way by providing him with a health risk assessment and other tools.  The company’s Occupational Health Services manager has actively supported him in planning and adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a regular exercise regimen and a nutritious diet. As of May 2007, he had lost 85 pounds.

According to my mom Maria, Avery is always doing something to get their employees to think about their health.  Each year, during a specific time period, free health screenings are offered on-site during each plant shift to make sure that all associates have the opportunity to have their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checked.  As an incentive, every employee who receives a screening is given a $100 discount on their medical coverage contribution.

In a time when companies and employees are plagued with concerns about health care costs, what a brilliant idea to encourage the workforce to be healthy! 

This trend is growing rapidly as companies try to reduce rising medical costs.  According to an article in the Akron Beacon Journal Nov. 13, preventable illnesses account for 90 percent of all medical costs.  That percentage represents billions of dollars being paid, not just by corporations, but also by individuals.

The New York Times reported in October that a typical smoker generates an estimated $16,000 or more in medical bills throughout his or her lifetime.  Several companies including the United Parcels Service (UPS) and Union Pacific railroad have implemented smoking cessation campaigns that have been relatively successful, but there are also plenty of other strategies being used to develop corporate wellness programs.

What are your companies doing to cultivate a healthier workforce?

3 Responses

  1. […] will direct you to a comment form, where you can write your message, and a page that shows comments from other readers about the […]

  2. This article really opened my eyes to something that I never thought of before for lowering health costs for employees and employers.

  3. To me, this article has so much meaning. When people are healthy, they are usually in a better mood. You want the employees you work with to give off positive energy when you’re around them. It will make they day go by faster and the time you spend at the office more enjoyable. I give Avery credit for trying to help their employees stay healthy. A $100 discount on my medical coverage would certaintly get me motivated to go to regular health screenings!Employees say their health coverage costs to much, so doing a regular screening will get them a $100 discount and would encourage them to get healthy. I also had no idea how much smoking really rose the price on your medical bills. If you stopped you could save up to $16,000! I don’t understand why people wouldn’t stop once they saw that dollar amount.

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