MCMINNVILLE, Tenn.- Should city employees be rewarded with taxpayers' money
to stay healthy? In McMinnville, city leaders are handing out cash rewards to
workers who complete a fitness test, but they insist it's actually saving the
"If you get a job like mine where you tend to sit at a desk, you intend
to make excuses for not working out and getting into the gym," said Police
Chief Bryan Denton.
His 70-year-old employee who works in records added, "When you have
that kind of incentive in front of you, it's just a great motivator."
Sure it's to feel better and younger, but for all employees it's more about
the cold, hard cash at the other end of the workout.
"I feel pretty good. No, I guess I feel really good for my age,"
said Judy Woodlee.
The City Codes Director is one of 19 McMinnville employees that earned $750 for
doing nothing more than a standard fitness test that includes 35 sit ups in a
minute, 38 pushups in a minute, and running a mile and half in under 16 minutes
among other fitness challenges.
The cash prize is taxpayer money. But the City Administrator insists the
short-term prize will save on healthcare costs later.
"It has been real successful. Insurance rates have not gone up on us,
and the employees are healthier," said City Administrator David
He admits that people shouldn't have to be paid to work out because they
should want to, but most don't, and this new incentive makes it hard to pass
"I had big plans for the $750, but I ended up buying school clothes for
in McMinnville," said Josh Brock.
The city administrator says the program has saved around ten percent in
health care costs, which he says amounts to around $100,000.