Strategies for Increasing Employees' Level of Exercise and Physical Fitness

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Abstract

Many organizations are attempting to increase the physical fitness levels of their employees to help stem the rapidly-increasing employer health costs. Using basic economic concepts and models of human health behaviors, this study finds that the time and effort costs of exercise may exceed the present value of the economic benefits of improved physical fitness. These high costs help explain the small incidence of consistent adult exercise and the lack of in-house, on-work-time employer exercise programs. The study concludes that while health education campaigns may be useful, employers must find ways to reduce the time and effort costs of exercise by making it a low-cost byproduct of more immediately desired outputs or goals.

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