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employees and employers clamor for “more” from workplace wellness

June 3, 2010

in wellness

virgin healthmiles, a workplace wellness provider, just issued a report in concert with the beginning of national employee wellness month—an observance also developed by virgin.

the report shows that employers are experiencing rising costs due to medical inflation, rising pharmaceutical and hospital costs, and the declining health of their workforce. some of the more interesting findings delved into beliefs and desires beyond these well-known facts:

  • 62% of employers and 85% of employees believe that employers should take a leadership role in creating a culture of health at work
  • nearly 3/4 of employees said they’d be more willing to change their habits if their colleagues did, and 60% said they would follow leadership’s health example
  • more than 60% of employee respondents said they’d most likely participate in on-site solutions—like on-site fitness centers and healthy cafeterias—over other approaches

this survey and national employee wellness month focus on containing health care costs as an impetus for change. however, the responses emphasize three themes we’ve talked about here, here, here, and here:

  1. i’ll do it if you do it
  2. make it easy
  3. it’s time for a change

wellness is not a points-based system alone. only 8.5% of employer respondents reported any reduction in cost, and only 25% of them attribute these reductions to their workplace wellness program. to tackle the cost issues as well as the lifestyle and pleasure obstacles our (inter)national health crisis is bringing on, we’re going to need more comprehensive solutions and a much broader collaboration among individuals, communities, organizations, governments, and other institutions.

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disclaimer: my client is a supporter of national employee wellness month and featured in the promotional video.

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