For more information about CU's "Move" program, go to becolorado.org.
DENVER -- The University of Colorado has launched a new wellness incentive that will pay employees up to $300 a year if they prove they're exercising.
University employees who receive benefits through the school can join the new "Move" program, which is designed to increase movement and physical activity, said Jill Pollock, chief human resources officer.
Those who participate in the program are required to complete moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 30 minutes, 12 times a month. In return, they get $25 a month.
Analyses show that employers that invest in employee health and wellness programs end up saving when it comes to health care costs. Those studies vary, with every $1 spent on such programs yielding $1.65 to $6 in savings on health care costs, according to CU system spokesman Ken McConnellogue.
"The bottom line is that we expect a substantial return on this investment," McConnellogue said. "The two biggest drivers in health care costs are obesity and physical inactivity, and this program speaks directly to both of those."
Mark Gelband, who is leading the Move initiative, discussed it with faculty leaders at a meeting in Denver on Thursday. The "Be Colorado Move" app became available April 1 for Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users. The GPS-based system helps prevent people from "cheating" the system, Gelband said.
To earn money for exercising, employees must first complete a health assessment. Then, they can track their physical activity by using the app or by synching a Fitbit or Garmin workout to the Be Colorado Move website.
Pollock said the incentive money is disbursed to employees' paychecks on a quarterly basis.
In 2011, CU launched "Be Colorado," a systemwide wellness program offered to participants of the CU Health and Welfare Trust. The first phase of the program offered free online health assessments.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Brittany Anas at 303-473-1132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.