Looking to shed a few pounds this year? Don’t discount the efficacy of a little healthy competition at the office.
According to a report by the National Business Group on Health, teaming up with co-workers to whittle your middle is an effective way to lose weight. In a discussion published by the The Wall Street Journal, employer-incentivized weight loss competitions are on the rise and have helped tens of thousands of employees shed as much as 5 percent of their body weight in three months – enough to make a significance difference in certain health risk factors.
The effectiveness of the program is believed to stem from the team mentality and, of course, the prizes. Independent wellness firms work with employers to establish teams within the office and offer a grand prize (as much as $10,000 cash) for the winning team and smaller prizes for milestones along the way, as well as for runner-up finalists. One employee told The Wall Street Journal that staying on track was easier because he feared letting down his team in the effort to win a $10,000 jackpot, especially when one of your teammates is your boss. Another employee agrees, stating, “The last thing you want to do is catch the wrath of your team.”
Independent firms offer complete programs, including private weigh-ins. Employees may participate on a voluntary basis and a small fee is often required, but the rewards, even if you don’t when the grand prize, often outweigh the nominal fee.