Health & Fitness: Giving Goodies to the Good

Companies are pushing, and paying, workers to shape up

When John Benda joined Johnson & Johnson 3½ years ago, he was puffing two packs of cigarettes a day and packed 210 puffy pounds on a 6-ft. 1-in. frame. Now the 29-year-old systems analyst no longer smokes, and his scale registers 170 lbs. Though he had intended to stop smoking and lose weight, Benda got started with the help of an extra incentive: a company-sponsored program that rewards employees for taking steps to safeguard health. By attending smoking or stress workshops, exercising for at least 20 minutes, keeping their weight down, wearing seat belts while driving, or installing smoke detectors at...