Since the Affordable Care Act passed, companies have a new directive and incentive to look into wellness programs to help their employees. Access to all sorts of health benefits could be right under your nose – you just have to look a little closer. Does your job offer a wellness program, and how can it benefit you?

While you might think of a workplace wellness program as something that mandates you get a physical or else pay a fine, there could be lots of other perks buried deep in the recesses of those emails from HR you never read.

A lot of companies have provisions in their wellness plans that require tests or biometric screenings, but other companies take a more creative approach to employee health — Jet Blue will pay an employee $400 for completing an Ironman Triathlon, for example.

What Benefits Do You Get?
Because workplace wellness programs vary from job to job, it’s important for you to check and find out what benefits your employee offers you. There could even be some alternative or holistic benefits hiding in your work’s wellness program. Some companies provide perks like acupuncture and massage that you could be missing. Who knows? You could be one email conversation away from free yoga and meditation classes in the office, which happens at companies like Apple, Google, Nike and Procter & Gamble.

Good Health, Good Workers
Companies are motivated to help you take advantage of workplace wellness programs, because employees with good health are more productive. Programs to quit smoking, free or discounted gym memberships, and nutrition programs are very common. New York-based grocery delivery company Fresh Direct stocks vending machines with fresh fruit and organizes team walks. Companies like Whole Foods even reward employees with better employee discounts for getting healthier. That’s not too surprising. After all, exercise and eating healthy have both been proven to increase work productivity.

If you have a work wellness program at your job, standing desks are often a perk. They have reportedly helped prevent heart attacks, high blood pressure, and obesity, too.

Why Work Wellness Is For You
Taking advantage of these programs could not only save you money, they could also greatly improve your health. Regular exercise has all sorts of health benefits, from improving your mood, to increasing your sex drive, and even boosting your brain health. Taking part in a nutrition program could help you lose weight, lower bad cholesterol, and prevent all sorts of diseases.

By taking preventative measures first, you could actually spend less time at the doctor’s office — a benefit everybody can enjoy.

Related Articles:
Stand Up for Your Back
5 Simple Habits to Start Feeling Better Today