Employees miss fewer days, stay at jobs longer with wellness programs
According to a recent survey by Principal Financial Group, 45 percent of Americans working at small to medium-sized companies said that they would stay at their jobs longer because of employer-sponsored wellness programs. The study also found that as a result of workplace wellness programs, 40 percent of workers said they are encouraged to work harder and perform better and 26 percent miss fewer days of work by participating in such programs. In addition, 51 percent of workers said they believed wellness programs are very or somewhat successful in reducing health care costs.
"Wellness programs are clearly a win-win, especially at a time when employers and their employees are more budget conscious," said Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company, a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group. "Employers benefit by retaining top talent, energizing their employees, and reducing the number of sick days. Employees benefit from improved physical health, reduced stress in the workplace, and the financial benefits of a healthy lifestyle."
While not all employers offer wellness programs, the survey found that nearly half (47 percent) of workers surveyed would participate or do participate in wellness programs to achieve better overall physical health. Other top reasons for participation include reduced personal health care costs (30 percent); greater chance of living longer and healthier lives (30 percent); receiving employer incentives for participation (28 percent); and reduced stress (28 percent).
The survey also found that most workers are interested in wellness programs that improve their physical fitness with 27 percent saying they would like in-office fitness facilities, 23 percent citing fitness center discounts, and 19 percent expressing interest in weight management programs. Significantly more workers (15 percent) had access to fitness facilities at the end of 2009 compared to 11 percent in 2008.
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February 25, 2010
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