Career Choices: Six Employer-Sponsored Health Programs That Rock

A major factor that should influence your career choices (above money and prestige) is quality of life. Are you going to be perpetually stressed and glued to your work laptop, or will you have the time to establish a work-life balance? Even though today’s media focuses on health benefits, health insurance, and health care reform, the fact is that these programs may not prevent you from getting sick in the first place. If you’re always stressed out and if you don’t have time to take care of yourself, your career choices will take a negative toll on your health. After all, the human body was designed to move, and sitting at a desk all day is terrible for you. Stress doesn’t help this setup.

Some employers are able to recognize the negative effects of bad health. Sick employees are unhappy employees, and unhappy employees produce results that are lower in quality. Sick people mean sick days which means lost time. Even though employers see their employees’ health in terms of the company health, it’s important to realize that employer-sponsored health programs –beyond health insurance and paid time off—can improve your experience with your career and organization of choice. Before you are an employee, you are a human being.

Here are six employee health programs that can help to make or break your career choices:

1)Employer-sponsored wellness clinics: Some companies will invite health representatives to conduct free onsite evaluations of blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. These programs do not replace your annual physical exam, but they will tell you whether you need to get to the doctor and make substantial lifestyle changes.

2)Employer-sponsored flu shots:
Companies may invite people to administer flu shots onsite, or they may give employees a voucher for a free shot. Check to see if this type of opportunity is available within your organization.

3)Gym discounts: It’s important to get at least two hours of aerobic exercise per week. An affordable gym membership may be what you need to get your body moving.

4)Onsite exercise courses: Some companies will bring fitness instructors to the building to provide classes for employees on a daily, weekly, or bi-weekly basis. Yoga and kickboxing are usually the most common since these types of workouts do not require equipment.

5)Athletic teams: Obviously, you shouldn’t make your career choices based on the reputation of a company’s sports teams, but you may want to consider joining an intramural group to keep your mind and body healthy.

6)Mental health counseling sessions: Life is full of hardship and tough decisions, and the ability to talk to someone confidentially can help you exponentially. These types of programs show that a company values its employees’ mental health—something to think about when making your career choices.

If you’re lucky enough to have career choices in today’s economy, look at the bigger pressure. Your health should always be one of your top priorities, so find a company that embraces who you are—a human being.

Photo Credit: Lululemon Athletica