NEW YORK – If you need to motivate your family or coworkers to kick some unhealthy habits or drive safer, money is a powerful influence. In the end, researchers say financial incentives can also save you in the long-run by promoting a happy, healthier lifestyle.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), U.S. employers are increasingly relying on incentives to drive-up participation in health programs. SHRM reported that about 85 percent of employers offer incentives for health risk assessments and nearly 60 percent of employers offer financial kickbacks to promote health and wellness programs.
“More and more, health and safety are becoming a major part of our lifestyle in New York,” car accident attorney Steve Barnes said. “Safer drivers can mean lower insurance premiums and healthier workers can translate into cheaper healthcare.”
The latest study focused on smoking cessation. Researchers placed over 2,500 workers in smoking cessation programs and promised financial rewards for those who succeeded. If a worker failed to quit, they could face a fine. The study found that these incentives pushed most of the workers to kick their nicotine habit.
“At 12 months (6 months after the cessation of incentives), roughly half the participants who were abstinent through 6 months in all groups submitted negative cotinine assays, and only the reward-based incentive programs remained superior to usual care.”
Vitality Health, a health and life insurance company, recently studied over 20,000 workers and found over 10 factors directly affected productivity at work. The study found employees who get less than seven hours of sleep each night were ‘significantly less productive’ than workers who had more hours of sleep. Researchers also found employees who are physically inactive or have health issues can also lower workplace productivity.
On the roads, millions of Americans drive during work hours and many more commute every day. To promote safety (and minimize liability), many car insurance companies have offered financial incentives to promote safe driving and some states have enacted safe driver incentive plans.
“Your car insurance can go up as high as 350 percent, depending on the number of points against your license,” Barnes said.
New York car accident attorneys say safe driving can also keep you and your family out of the hospital, avoiding the extra costs associated with doctor’s appointments, lost time at work and other costs associated with a crash.