Lila MacLellan, The story behind the health-conscious startup accused of being a “fit supremacist”, Quartz, March 9, 2018
Too Health Conscious
The startup, Health IQ, is a life insurance brokerage that provides low rate coverage for health conscious people. The critique included charges that the company was cultish, and a “fit supremacist,” after some descriptions of the culture, which dripped of “bro” values, were discovered and shared.
“Every employee who joins takes a pledge to celebrate the health conscious while they work here and for the rest of their life,” the Mountain View, California-based company boasted on its careers page, which has now been edited. And that was just the beginning.
Through the WI Lens
This article raises the fundamental questions of “how far” companies are willing to go to promote health in the workplace. The example of Health IQ is of course extreme, but it highlights the pitfalls of the obsessive quest for wellness pursued by many start-ups – particularly in the US.
Much too often, businesses equate wellness with fitness. The reductionist definition misses the point about the ‘holistic’ dimension of wellbeing: a framework that encompasses physical and mental health, but also a sense of purpose at work, of belonging to a community and also of financial wellness.
Job satisfaction is what ultimately matters to wellbeing at work. It has more to do with policies and how employees are treated than with encouraging them to engage in triathlons.
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