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Employees can benefit from weight loss incentives

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Employees who need an incentive to lose weight may perform even better when they are competing as part of a group.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School compared two incentives among workers in shared offices – under one, employees competed individually for the chance to win $100 (£66) for the greatest weight loss total.

The other incentive saw teams of five work together to try to win $500 for losing the most amount of fat as a group.

Results showed that employees who were competing as part of a team shed the most pounds – those who were offered individual incentives lost 3.7 pounds on average, compared to 10.6 pounds among those with group-based incentives, Reuters reports.

Therefore, managers may well look to the benefits of team weight loss incentives in order to benefit from having a healthier, more productive workforce.

Wellbeing is gaining recognition as an important measure that relates to both the quality of life of individuals, as well as to financial measures that are important to business and government leaders.

In addition, previous studies have shown that eating well and exercising regularly can help improve employees performance as well as reduce instances of absenteeism.

Take the study by researchers at the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) at Brigham University in the US, for example.

Published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, evidence showed that employees who ate healthy food are 25 per cent more likely to have better job performance while those who exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week are 15 per cent more productive than their non-active counterparts.

Furthermore, job performance is 11 per cent higher among workers who are not obese. People who are overweight also tended to have increased rates of absenteeism due to health conditions relating to their weight.

“The latest study investigating the link between employee health, performance, and productivity reinforces the business case for employers to provide comprehensive, evidence-based health management programs for their workforce,” said Jerry Noyce, president and CEO of HERO.