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Editor’s Note | Healthier, happier and prosperous

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Cover Story | All is well: When employers aid their workers in health, fitness everybody wins

Cover Story | All is well: When employers aid their workers in health, fitness everybody wins

Employers step up to help workers stay fit

Those New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get fit, eat healthy and generally live a better lifestyle are often the first to fall by the wayside.

Not for everyone. But for many. In recent years, however, it hasn’t only been your resolve that has kept those pledges alive. A large number of employers have also pitched in to help.

They have done so through wellness programs that include health screenings, discounted gym memberships and voluntary workplace exercise regimes.

It makes sense. A healthier workforce makes for a happier, more productive workplace. That can cut down on lost time, reduced costs for self-insured medical premiums and, most important of all, a tangible sign of caring for the well-being of the people who make your business successful.

In this edition of Business World we take a look at some of the things employers are doing to help their workers live healthier lives. Many are doing a lot, and while a good argument can be made that it’s all about the bottom line, a more compelling case can be made for the fact that they simply care.

This being the first issue of 2018, it’s always fun to look back at the year past. It was an interesting year, for sure.

For the economy, it was a very good year. Unemployment is at historic lows. It took longer than many other places, but North Central Washington also is enjoying the benefits of good economic times.

Housing prices continue to soar. While this represents good news for the equity you’re building in your own home, it also has created a housing crisis. With homes priced out of range for so many people, it has resulted in a rental shortage, where if you’re able to find a place, it likely comes with sticker shock.

The stock market, where so many people have their retirement savings invested, had an incredible 2017. The Dow Jones Industrial average rose more than 5,000 points in a year for the first time in its history.

A lot of that rise was fueled by the election of Donald Trump as president. Say what you will about him, and people certainly have a lot to say, since his November 2016 election, the financial markets have been thriving.

Much of that was based on his promise to reform the tax code, cutting corporate and personal income rates.

As Congress dashed to make that promise reality near the end of 2017, a bill was produced, passed and signed that is still being digested by financial experts.

Regardless, as always, we hope 2018 is a great year for all businesses in North Central Washington. And a great year for everyone who is fortunate enough to call this place home.