Wellness tips for small businesses

It may be easier for large businesses and corporations to implement a corporate health and wellness program as they generally have the capital necessary to give the program the best chance to succeed. However, small businesses with limited capital can find success in the wellness world.

Some small business owners maintain they can’t afford the incentives that go a long with most successful corporate health and wellness initiatives[,] but those who partake in the movement will say they can’t afford not to. According to CNBC, the Myron Stratton Home for the elderly in Cripple Creek, Colorado, offers its 48 employees reduced deductibles for signing up for a wellness program that will lead to weight loss and smoking cessation.

“Quantifying a return on investment for wellness programs with a small group of employees is virtually impossible,” Gary Piantedosi, managing partner at Stamford, Connecticut-based Creative Benefits Planning, told the news source. “Research shows that unless you have 10,000 employees enrolled in a wellness program, it will be very challenging for you to figure out your return on investment. Even with that sized group, it will take three to five years.”

The Myron Stratton home is a client of Health Promotions Management based in Broomfield, Colorado, which has been in the wellness industry for close to 28 years. According to the news source, each year a new set of goals and programs are set up for employee participation. Those who take part in three of the six get an annual health screening and their deductible reduced by halves.

Many of the costs incurred by companies to run a program are offset and even surpassed by the savings earned from reduced employee sick days and increased productivity and morale as the result of available incentives and focus on the workforce’s wellness.

“We as a nation spent $2.6 trillion on health care last year, and half of that went to treating chronic conditions, many of which could have been prevented by better lifestyle choices,” Piantedosi told the news source. “It’s not going to take too long in this cash-strapped environment for people to realize that if we can control chronic conditions we can save a boatload of money.”

PureWellness, a top provider of web-based wellness solutions, recently announced its new PureRunner product. An integrated mobile pedometer and activity tracker, participating employees can track their exercise activities including walking, cycling, hiking and running from their smartphones. The program is currently available on the iPhone with support for the Android and BlackBerry platforms expected in the near future.