There’s a lot of emphasis in our culture on staying fit and healthy. But studies and statistics show that many in the country are losing the battle-of-the-bulge war, which is not only detrimental to their health, but also costly to employers. A recent Gallup study revealed that those who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health conditions miss an estimated 450 million additional days of work each year compared with healthy workers. This amounts to an estimated cost of more than $153 billion for employers in lost productivity annually!
Employers are waking up to the fact that this is costing them not only in lost productivity but also in high health care and disability insurance costs. They’re looking for ways to help employees get healthy, including through Wellness programs and incentives/ rewards. Fitness centers are also looking at this issue as a business opportunity, and expanding services to help companies and their employees get healthy or stay healthy, including offering:
Corporate Wellness: Whether it is through the hiring of in-house personal trainers or discounts and incentives offered to employees that join a health club, corporate wellness programs have begun to emerge countrywide to help encourage healthy lifestyles among workers, especially time-crunched consumers. Wellness-oriented services in both the health club and the workplace are proven to help address consumer health goals, reduce the impact of obesity rates, and improve business profitability.
Stress Reduction Through Fitness: With the increased knowledge of how stress negatively affects the body, gyms and clubs have started to offer wellness programs so their members develop effective strategies for managing their stress levels.
Added-Value Wellness Services: More gyms and clubs have begun to hire other allied healthcare professionals to serve the expanding needs of their health-conscious members, such as providing guidance to consumers on making more nutritious food choices and recognizing the need for people to take care of their physical health by also monitoring their dietary intake.
Age-Appropriate Exercise Offerings: As Baby Boomers have specific needs and are looking for programs designed for older adults, strength and balance training have become even more important. The trend is for clubs to provide specialized programming and trainers that are specifically qualified to work with older adults on their exercise programs. In addition, there is a growing trend for sports-specific training for children from elementary school on up. This trend is popular to help boost confidence in all areas of life. Also, due to the obesity epidemic in children, more clubs, training programs and equipment will continue to be designed around children’s unique fitness needs.
These are just some of the trends we’re seeing in the fitness space as health of individuals is increasingly coming into the forefront.
Caitlin-Morgan provides insurance solutions for agents and brokers to provide clients in the Health & Fitness industry.