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iVillage.com: The Biggest Health Trends of 2013

An Increase in Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

As health care costs continue to rise for both individuals and corporations, more and more employers are beginning to penalize unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, and reward healthy behavior, like regular exercise. “Many companies have been offering incentives for participating in health improvement activities for several years, and we are seeing more companies turning to offers of discounted costs on health benefit plans, instead of prizes,” explains Tom Fogarty, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Concentra, the nation’s largest provider of employer health care services. “Wellness and prevention are taking a larger role in the new health care landscape, and there will continue to be more emphasis on utilization of these benefits in the coming year,” he says.

Companies will be spending more on wellness programs designed to improve employee health and reduce long-term costs, Dr. Fogarty says, and encourage employees to get health screenings and assessments. And don’t be surprised if your company decides to turn one of its conference rooms into a fitness facility -- more and more companies are utilizing some of their own square footage for regular spaces where employees can come to sweat with their colleagues for free. Others offer full-scale gyms for free or at a low cost as a way to incentivize disease-preventing exercise.

(CREDIT: Jeanene Scott/The Image Bank/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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