Step By Step

Products that motivate and recognize employees on the path to healthier living

U.S. businesses have a vested interest in helping their employees live healthier lives—it’s good for business. A 2010 Duke University study revealed that obesity costs American businesses $73.1 billion per year in medical expenses and lost productivity. So companies are increasingly interested in helping their employees choose healthy (and more productive) lifestyles that incorporate exercise, healthy eating, regular sleep and emotional wellness. And they’re incorporating a variety of physical items into their wellness plans to visibly incentivize and reward employees on the pathway to healthier living.

Jennifer Berger, wellness account manager for beBetter Health, says premium products can be extremely motivating. “I have clients that put together a wellness catalog so participants can pick out a prize at the end of the year if they have accomplished the stated goals. They offer things like a Nutribullet, a FitBit, reimbursements for popular health-related programs and exercise videos like the P90X. But the biggest surprise is that the items employees pick most [from the catalog] are company-logoed performance workout wear pieces.”

With so many promotional items available for companies to choose to integrate into wellness plans, it’s important to do your research on the audience. “Activity trackers are huge,” Berger says. “A lot of companies are incentivizing with them or giving them out. But simple pedometers are becoming a thing of the past (with some exceptions—manufacturing environments, or some employers that are just wanting to test wellness programs slowly and at a minimal cost, for example) since most people want to use more advanced trackers that sync with their phones.”

If you can find items that the company’s employees don’t already have, all the better, says Berger. “Most companies want to give their employees items that they will think are useful and motivational for their health and wellness goals.”

Great Items For Your Gym Bag

essef fitness tracker web

Promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle with a fitness bracelet that features wireless Bluetooth connectivity, stop watch/smart clock and anti-loss tracking. The free app download shows a full range of information. The water-resistant, rechargeable watch interface shows distance traveled and steps taken, and includes calories calculation, a sleep monitor, and clock and date. It’s a great choice for marathons, gyms and even wellness centers.

Essef Distributors UPIC: 7414140

Koolgator web

The Koolgator is a unique, purposeful and reusable promotional item that keeps people cool all day long through the process of evaporation with no ice or refrigeration required. Simply soak in cool water for 15 minutes and it’s ready to go.


Sleep Mask web

Block out excess light and get a good night's sleep with a branded sleep mask. Ideal for travel companies, resorts, airlines, spas and more.


Power Bars web

Full color over-wrapped PowerBars are a great way to provide branded nutrition at athletic events, charity walks, corporate meetings or anywhere else a protein snack is needed.

Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant UPIC: CHOCINN

ProStak Blender Bottle web

For the serious athlete, the BlenderBottle® ProStak™ System is an all-in-one solution for carrying supplements, snacks and more with or without the bottle. Featuring the BlenderBall® Wire Whisk and two Twist 'n Lock™ containers, the BPA- and phthalate-free bottle is available in 16 color choices.

The Allen Company UPIC: ALLEN

Full Color Tube Socks web

Create extra buzz with these full-color imprinted socks for any walk/run event. The design can be different on each side at no additional charge. With the heel-less sock design, one size fits most.

Beacon Promotions UPIC: BEACONP

Drum-Line Fitness Journal web

With 100 sheets of 60-pound white offset paper, this wellness journal is a great idea for rehabilitation centers, health clubs and corporate wellness programs.

Drum-Line UPIC: ABGH1356

Starline Waist Pack web

The Pace Hydration Waist Pack is perfect accessory for joggers, walkers or walkathon and running events. The Neoprene belt contours to your body to eliminate bouncing and allows for single-handed access to one of the two PE (FDA-approved) 250 ml bottles. Fit your phone and snacks and put your ID, cash or small valuables in the small interior pocket. Silicone gripping dots on the back of the bottle holders prevent bouncing or riding up while moving, and the adjustable waist strap can fit waist sizes from 28 to 50 inches.

Starline USA, Inc. UPIC: STAR0009

Makana Line fruit infused bottle web

The 25-ounce USA-made PET sports water bottle features a fruit infuser that's easy to use. Add some natural flavor to workouts or work with fruit-flavored beverages. The liquid flows around and through the fruit to flavor your drink; simply add your favorite fruit to the inner basket.


Fitness Belt Pouch web

This versatile fitness belt pouch is equally at home at the gym, on a run or walk, or while traveling. The zipper pouch is ideal for holding ID, keys, MP3 player, etc. With one-size-fits-all convenience, the adjustable elastic belt with plastic clip buckle adjusts from 24 to 44 inches and stretches to over 60 inches.


SIGG Classic Bottle web

Water from the BPA- and phthalate-free SIGG 0.6L Classic Bottle featuring an EcoCare liner tastes fresh and clean with every sip. Made from high-quality aluminum, this seamless bottle is 100-percent leak proof even with carbonated drinks. SIGG aluminum bottles are lightweight, durable and eco-friendly.

Clearmount Plastics Limited UPIC: CLRMNT

Choosing Wellness Program Products

Five questions to ask your client

1. What excites your culture? Is it a rural population or a city-based company with a more diverse population? Each company workforce is different and will respond to a different product selection.

2. What motivates your employees? Do gift cards or physical products tend to be more popular?

3. What types of incentives are you already using in other company programs? This will tell you what types of items at what type of price level are already effective. If they’re giving a $200 gift card for participation in some other program, it would be a mistake to think that branded stress balls are going to be effective in the wellness program.

4. Do you have a brand for your wellness program? If so, that might point you towards high-visibility promotional items like exercise balls for people to use at their desks, or water bottles to give at the lowest point of entry into the program—such as for signing up.

5. What is your budget? This one is obvious and will allow you to help the company find the best use of its money.


DEET-Free Zika Prevention

A recent article published in the journal eLife reports that two billion people worldwide are at risk for infection by the Zika virus, including 200 million in the Americas. Specifically, a large portion of the southeastern U.S. coast is at risk due to its hospitable mosquito habitat.

The Zika virus was first discovered in humans in 1954 in Nigeria but until 2007, confirmed cases were rare and limited to Africa and Aisa. A large outbreak in Brazil in April 2015 has spread to much of South and Central America and the Caribbean. The virus particularly affects pregnant women, and between October 2015 and January 2016, there were more than 3,500 microcephaly cases in infants reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A Level 2 travel alert is in place for people traveling to countries where Zika transmission is continuing. Wearing protective clothing, using insect repellent and staying indoors are the only effective protections against Zika at this time.

Springville, Utah-based supplier Natural Trends, LLC (UPIC: NTrends) offers Herbal Armor® Natural Insect Repellent from All Terrain®, which has been proven highly effective in repelling the Zika-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito. It provides 100-percent protection for two hours and 85-percent protection for 3.5 hours post-application in independent lab testing.

Julie Richie is associate editor for PPB.

filed under june-2016 | ppb
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