Be Healthy, Lower Your Taxes


man with wife in front of computer

At the same time?

Massachusetts rewards companies that provide a healthy workplace with a tax credit worth 25% of their wellness program expenses. Tocci Building Companies received a Wellness Tax Credit for 2013, and your firm can too.

Under the guidance of A Healthy Balance (AHB), Tocci embarked on a three-part program to “Eat Better, Exercise More and Stress Less”. Our 2013 Tocci Wellness Program initiatives included getting staff input, forming a committee, and holding Lunch + Learns that incorporated fresh vegetable snacks from our garden.

At the outset, AHB surveyed Tocci staff to identify health topics of greatest interest.

Nutrition, our first focus, included:
  • Plants, seeds,  and tools for our square-foot garden
  • Lunch + Learn cooking demo using “Greens and Grains” with recipes, step-by-step instructions, and nutritional information
  • Healthy foods, like our Friday breakfasts with yogurt, fruit, and granola
  • Healthy snacks—clementines, bananas, almonds, raisins, and dried fruit
  • Nutrition Consultations with an AHB dietician
To encourage healthy living, we provided:
  • Infrastructure for healthy eating such as a more spacious refrigerator,  dishwasher, and microwave
  • A furnished lactation room
  • An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) installation.
  • Information on nutrition, recipes, disease prevention, and safety tips in our weekly Tocci News
  • Fitness consultations with Nikki Tierney, AHB owner, and Certified Personal Trainer
  • Nikki ran a ‘wrap up healthy living’ quiz where participants had the chance to answer fitness questions for the chance to win gifts from REI and gift cards from Whole Foods.
There’s still more to come as we begin our third segment – “Stress Less”:
  • Lunch + Learn to help staff recognize stress in their lives, like twitches, headaches, poor digestion
  • Understand the long-term negative effects of stress
  • Adopt  techniques that alleviate stress, such as breathing exercises
  • Participate in a half-day workshop on rest with Steven Levy from Expeditionary Learning to incorporate behaviors that help staff unplug and unwind.
  • Chair massage with Mary Wahlman–Krogh and a chiropractic evaluation with Dr. Kara Firestone from Firestone Chiropractic & Wellness in Woburn.

These are some of the many initiatives we tried. We continue to improve and make changes according to staff preferences. Health is wonderful—don’t take it for granted; take it to work!

What wellness practices do you incorporate into your day? What programs does your company have – or do you wish they had?

Leave us a note in the comments!

*note: Programming with A Healthy Balance was not included in our tax credit request since Tocci’s contract with AHB was 50% funded through a MA Workforce Training Express Grant.