SRWC helps provide employee wellness with free, incentive-based program

Josh Rouse

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is offering a program to all benefits-eligible employees to raise awareness of health related issues.

The Employee Wellness Program is an incentive based program that rewards participants monetarily for exhibiting healthy behavior. The deadline for application is Oct. 1.

Using three tiers of goals, each tier represents a different reward, with a total of $150 possible. Completing the first tier earns the participant $75, which can be a reimbursement of the cafeteria plan or the fitness center membership costs, or can be placed on the employee’s iCard as Bod Bucks. The second tier is worth an additional $25, and tier three is worth $50.

“I really work with people no matter what stage of readiness they’re at,” said Celeste Ehrenberg, employee wellness coordinator at the SRWC. “They don’t have to join a gym or quit smoking or eat right – that’s not required. It’s just more of a way to draw their attention to their health and make them more aware and get them started from there. It’s more of an awareness thing.”

To complete tier one, the participant must take an Annual Health Assessment, offered at no cost to the employee. This assessment includes a health screening and personal wellness profile. Examples of activities and behaviors toward higher tiers include self-documented activities like wearing a seat belt, having a membership at a fitness facility, having a smoke detector, completing a smoke cessation program or acquiring certification in CPR and/or first aid.

“The number one reason to do this program is because it’s giving you a no strings attached look at your health,” said Ehrenberg. “You don’t have to go to the doctor’s office, do a co-pay and all of that. We’re paying for you to get these results. The second reason you should do this is that we give you a total of $150.”

Ehrenberg said that one of the most important functions of the program is to improve awareness, and that it’s worth the effort just to have an idea of how to lead a healthier life.

“It’s drawing attention to your health and showing you all sorts of activities you may not have thought about doing, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator,” said Ehrenberg.

With only 58 percent of the eligible participants taking advantage of the system last year, Ehrenberg said she hopes more people will take advantage of what the program has to offer.

“I don’t understand why more people don’t do this,” said Ehrenberg. “I’m here to work with you, and it doesn’t take a lot of time. You only get things from it.”