Until companies can find a way to excise the burden of employer-paid health insurance, more and more will institute corporate-backed wellness programs and mandate worker enrollment.
Office equipment such as Steelcase’s WalkStations, which allow workers to walk on treadmills while at their computers, will catch on in offices nationwide. Other programs, such as in-office gyms, company-funded fitness classes and healthy food options will allow workers to keep in shape. Moreover, a growing number of employers will take a hard line against unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking to keep health costs down.
More companies will follow the lead of one Indiana company, which announced that workers who allow health risks such as tobacco use, obesity or high cholesterol to go unchecked will pay more for their company health insurance beginning in 2009. A handful of companies are refusing to hire smokers and at least two have terminated employees who failed to quit smoking.