Top employer health benefits you're not using (and why you should)

  • Companies across the country are establishing workplace wellness programs that encourage employees to work out, stop smoking and generally adopt healthier lifestyles.

    Companies across the country are establishing workplace wellness programs that encourage employees to work out, stop smoking and generally adopt healthier lifestyles.

Posted5/1/2017 12:01 AM

Workplace wellness programs = health, happiness and productivity.

Companies across the country are establishing workplace wellness programs that encourage employees to work out, stop smoking and generally adopt healthier lifestyles.


Creating and sustaining a culture of wellness is a win-win for employer and employee.

It improves the health of employees and the health of the business. When employees make smart and healthy choices, it can reduce health care costs, increase engagement and reduce absenteeism.

Assurance is an award-winning insurance brokerage that helps clients minimize risk and maximize health in their organizations. The company designs and delivers top quality business insurance and employee benefit programs. The Schaumburg-based organization is an innovator for bringing healthy engaging programs onsite for internal employees and clients across the country.

"Our philosophy is that to get the best talent, companies need to make their office a place where people want to work, feel engaged and can still focus on their overall well-being, said Joe Spallina, vice president of employee benefits for Assurance.

As an employee, are you making your health benefits work for you? Check out what your company offers and get involved in activities and initiatives that interest you. Here are some benefits that companies offer today.

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Gym membership

Even if an employer does not have an onsite gym, often the company can offer membership discounts -- directly or through a health insurance provider -- to local gyms. Hit the gym during your lunchtime. Physical activity keeps you strong and coordinated and lessens the risk of falls, breaks and strains. Just 30 minutes of low intensity exercise will have health benefits.

Yoga and mental health classes

There are corporate-focused yoga/wellness instructors that come onsite and demonstrate how to easily participate in meditation, breathing exercises and yoga poses throughout the workday. Some employers even have a running list of free yoga apps. Yoga can increase flexibility, strength, balance and endurance while improving cardio and circulatory health. The relaxation can lessen chronic pain, lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. And it's fun to try new things.

Lunchtime seminars on healthy shopping and nutrition

Companies, like Assurance, often partner with outside nutritionists and organizations focused on helping professionals make smarter, healthier food choices. Through these seminars, learn how to shop the perimeter of the store and make healthy food choices that can also save you money if it keeps you from buying processed packaged foods.

Financial advisors

Does your company bring financial advisors onsite for seminars or one-on-one consultations? There are not-for-profits that focus on helping professionals with financial planning and budgeting. Keeping your debt under control will result in less financial stress that can affect your performance in the workplace.


Flu shot incentive

Some local companies host flu shot clinics at the office or provide incentives for getting one offsite. Go ahead and get that flu shot to prevent illness and time off from work.

Employee retirement plan

Organizations both large and small often understand the importance of helping employees on their path to retirement. Whether it's a 401K or another retirement vehicle, taking advantage of a company match, financial calculator and/or educational articles provided by the plan provider can help with retirement readiness. Start contributing and watch your savings grow into a nest egg for your retirement.

Smoking cessation

Yes you can. Receive support in a group setting, even at work, and kick this habit in the butt.

Employee assistance

Often through your benefits plan, there is access to free, confidential counseling for personal issues that may affect your workplace performance. This can be through a specialized phone number or online using your company's username or code.

Because having a wellness program doesn't guarantee employees' interest in it, some companies are engaging health coaches to bring the program to life and make it a more practical and personal experience.

Also, companies may survey employees about what health issues they want to take on in order to bring the most desired benefits to their workplace.

Indulge in your company's wellness program, provide honest feedback and learn new healthy habits that put you into a health-conscious mindset. Your brain will be more focused for tasks, and you'll feel more energized and motivated to accomplish projects at work.

This article is sponsored by Assurance, 1750 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg.

For more information, contact (888) 429-0999.

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