Are you the biggest loser at work?

HRM 11 Jan 2013

Team-based weight-loss programmes are gaining momentum at America’s workplaces, with more companies signing their employees up, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Experts say the contests reflect a broader trend of companies encouraging healthy behaviour by offering financial incentives to employees.  A study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health in 2012 revealed that employer use of cash, gift cards and other prizes to reward employees for adopting healthier lifestyles has risen 69% since 2009.

These programmes deliver quick, measureable weight loss, and promote lower absenteeism and health-care costs, which are the main reasons why companies like the programmes. Moreover, team camaraderie is built up with team members eating together, working out together, motivating each other and watching their diet together.

Depending on the company’s choice, programmes can be designed in-house, or outsourced to other companies specialising in weight loss contests. Most contests require a buy-in fee that is non-refundable if you drop out. Employees can create their own teams and all participation is voluntary.

However, there are also concerns regarding such competitions. With the emphasis placed on rewards, this could encourage unhealthy dieting which is not sustainable in the long run. A competitive environment could lead to division amongst employees in different teams as well. 



Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 20 Aug | Frazer Jones Global HR Search and Recruitment | Singapore
    Partner with the business to advise and strategies on HR policies, coach the senior leadership team and deliver best practice across the region.
    19 Aug | Frazer Jones Global HR Search & Recruitment | Singapore
    The HR Associate will be required to support the HR Manager to ensure the smooth running of HR Operations in the office.
    15 Aug | Frazer Jones - Global HR Search and Recruitment | Singapore
    Resourcing Consultant role that will execute the end to end recrutiment process within a Financial Institution across the region.
    Innovation in engagement, motivation and retention of talent
    Prof Veena Jadav and Carolyn Seah of S.P. Jain School of Business Management share the findings of the school's annual HR Conclave survey about talent management practices companies are adopting in different geographies
    GSK: Talent management – a serious business imperative
    Talent Management for Sustainability: Default or Design?
    Scouting for High Potentials
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...
    Performance Recognition Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    A monthly business incubator where leaders grow their skills, exchange ideas and share best practices.
    Organisational Development Concepts | enquiries@odctraining.com.sg
    Quality workshops packaged for learning effectiveness and cost efficiency