U.S. businesses embrace wellness, survey

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Human resource professionals and other business leaders in the U.S. are starting to see the benefits of workplace wellness, according to a research project called The States of Wellness.

Results of the research show a majority (87%) of those surveyed—predominately human resource executives in large public and private companies—believe there are benefits to incorporating wellness at work and more than half (55%) have started some kind of initiative.

Almost 70% believe that larger investments in wellness help curb healthcare costs. Employers overwhelmingly agree that worksite wellness initiatives help workers develop healthier lifestyles (96%), increase productivity (84%), lower healthcare costs (84%), and reduce absenteeism (78%).

Although "costs" continue to top their concerns regarding the health of employees (84%), employers perceive other important values of worksite wellness:

  • decreased productivity (73%)
  • absenteeism (70%)
  • reduction of workers' compensation or disability claims (58%).

Employers top three choices in health challenges facing employees were:

  • obesity (52%)
  • stress/mental health (51%)
  • lack of exercise/fitness (51%).

Despite wanting to understand the impact wellness has on the bottom line—84% of employers place high value on measuring ROI related to wellness—only 42% of those with wellness initiatives in place actually do it.

Those who have not begun worksite wellness programs are most worried about cost (65%), low potential participation (59%), and lack of time necessary to implement a wellness initiative (54%).

Read more of the findings at The States of Wellness.

For a Canadian perspective on wellness issues, read:

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