Did you know how much peers influence each other when it comes to health and wellness behaviors in the workplace? The numbers are staggering:
- Employees who have family or close friends who are obese are 57% more likely to become obese
- On the flip side employees at small companies are 34% more likely to quit smoking when their co-workers do
A new study out from StayWell Health Management revealed that using “wellness champions” in the workplace, almost like team wellness captains, drive general employee populations to healthier behavior. The peer support and good example set in the workplace changes employee behavior for the better. Creating a healthier work environment lowers insurance and healthcare costs for both employers and employees.
Empowering peer rewards can be a great way to reinforce a community of wellness. Allowing “wellness champions” to reward healthy behavior like increased exercise or decreased smoking or junk food intake creates a non-vertical reward cycle that allows peer support to grow throughout your organization. Rewards can be small, like small denomination gift cards to healthy retailers like Whole Foods Market, GNC or CVS/Pharmacy.