[IMGCAP(1)] In an ideal world, everyone’s fitness and health would be monitored 24 hours a day like something seen on “The Biggest Loser.”A team of fitness professionals watching your every move, conspicuous cameras catching even the slightest of “cheat” snacks, and a team of goal-oriented individuals surrounding you are just the highlights of what this kind of environment provides.The reality is that most people do not have access to these kinds of all inclusive environments.

Or do they? I can think of one place that you spend more time within second only to your own bed and has the potential to provide teamwork and monitoring comparative to that of “Big Brother”: Work.

Workplace wellness programs provide benefits to everyone involved. Employees spend more than half of their waking hours at work. They have a built in support system and are more likely to participate in programs that do not take away from their home lives. Think about it, cigarette breaks will be substituted for walking breaks. Lunch meals will become the collective decision of fitness focused individuals. Team morale and camaraderie will never reach higher limits.

Despite all of this, employers may stand to gain more from wellness programs. Happy employees translate into productive employees. Nothing is more paramount to a firm’s success than the level of satisfaction achieved by its associates. The more employers focus on the overall well being of their team, the more likely they are to keep quality members around and keep turnover low. Ask any firm, this is all good news for the bottom line.

I was associated with a firm that implemented a fitness challenge focused primarily around weight loss. A simple number to track and success was based on the percentage of total weight lost. Guess what happened? The entire office rallied as one unit, morale soared, and partners could not have been happier with the productivity increases throughout each level of operations. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.

Luke Sniewski currently works as a CPA as well as a fitness consultant. He works by weaving the health and wellness world with the business professional world. Working with companies and business professionals, his organization, LEAF, provides CPE courses that aim to improve the overall quality of life through the implementation of proactive lifestyles. Visit www.leaflifestyle.com for more details.