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How to help your employees lose weight

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Obesity has become a serious and costly problem for employers. Employees who are overweight can end up costing their employers a significant amount of money. Many businesses are finding that their obese employees are not only affecting their health care costs but are also at higher risk for on the job accidents which can increase employer liability as well. Helping your employees to lose weight benefits everyone. Studies have clearly shown that people who are carrying extra weight are at significant risk for heart disease, diabetes, pulmonary issues and a host of other serious and life threatening diseases. This means that it is in everyone’s best interest to help overweight employees lose weight.

The process of helping overweight employees begin a weight loss can be difficult. Many workers face long commutes, stressful jobs, and limited resources. This means that the employer must often be able to help deal with factors that are outside the scope of the job. However, studies have shown that workplace weight loss program do have a high degree of success which benefits both the employee and the employer. By taking a few simple steps there are ways to help your employees become healthy. Here is what you need to know about how to help your employees lose weight-
• Change the company culture-One of the biggest obstacles for employees who are trying to lose weight is the culture that many companies have. Desks that have candy jars, meetings complete with donuts and sodas, and birthday cakes for every employee. While these treats can seem like fun for someone who is trying to watch their weight it can be a land mind. If you want to help your employees lose weight you can add in that process by switching out vending machines to hold fruit, nutritious snacks, and water bottles instead of the usual candy, chips, and soda. Meetings can be held without food, or if a treat is needed perhaps a fresh fruit plate, low fat muffins and a variety of low fat drinks are a better option. Finally, many businesses have onsite cafeterias that offer their employees a chance to grab breakfast, lunch or dinner. Many employers have brought in registered dieticians to help revamp cafeteria menus to offer a lot more healthy options for all employees.
• Encourage exercise-Exercise is a major factor in losing weight. Employees who have the option to exercise while changing what they eat are far more likely to be successful for the long term in not only reducing their weight but keeping it off. Employers have come up with a variety of options that can help employees have a chance to exercise and aid in their weight loss. Some of these options are: an onsite gym, flex time or telecommuting schedules that provide more time for exercise, discounted gym passes, walking or biking paths outside of the building, in office competitions that include climbing stairs and even obstacle courses to get employees up and moving. The bottom line is that however, you can get your employees up and moving will help to aid in their weight loss journey.
• Reward success-No matter whether you can provide a full scale gym or just discounted gym passes employers can do a lot to support and encourage their employees to exercise. Many employers have started in office support groups that can provide their employees with help from others who are facing the same obstacles. Free consultations with dieticians and exercise therapists can also aid in weight loss. Competitions for fitness prizes, time off, or whatever is important to your employees can also go a long way toward providing support and rewarding success.

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Posted by DK
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