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Health Contracts Can Boost Occupant Wellness

Aug. 5, 2015

Benefits inspire positive health changes for workers.

Health Codes of Conduct (HCC) can be an effective tool for engaging occupants and inspiring them to take on healthier choices, according to a new study. While workplace wellness programs have been shown to improve occupant health, wellbeing, and productivity, many of the programs fail to engage a large amount of employees. The research, published in the Journal of Workplace Health Management, shows that a contract signed by employees when they start employment that rewards healthy habits can effectively pique interest and improve participation.

The researchers from Cornell University surveyed 156 workers to discover their feelings about implementing a HCC, with all respondents reporting that they were either moderately or strongly supportive of the plan, with the exception of obese respondents. The most supported features of HCCs were practices such as requiring employees to take an annual physical, encouraging exercise, and telling employees to stay home when sick.

“Rewarding employees for complying with health initiatives can be as easy as lowering co-pays, offering prescription discounts, vacation days, and vaccinations. Offering recognition is also a great way to show employees that their health and wellbeing are valued by the company,” says study co-author Brian Wansink, Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

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