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Well at Work

Survey: Employee Wellness Programs on the Rise

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With health care costs soaring, employers continue to look for ways to cut costs within their companies. One option, wellness programming, continues to rise in popularity among employers and employees, according to the 2012 Employee Benefit Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) [Sacbee.com].

The survey of 550 employers found that the percentage of companies offering health and lifestyle coaching increased from 33 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2012. To encourage participation, employers are offering rewards and incentives for completing wellness programs. The percentage of employers offering rewards and incentives rose from 23 percent in 2008 to 35 percent in 2012. What’s more, offering discounts on health care premiums for healthier behavior nearly doubled in the last four years, from 11 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2012, while discounts for not using tobacco products increased to 20 percent this year from 8 percent in 2008.

“Building autonomy with wellness offerings is key to program success and reduced health care costs,” says Dr. Roy Sugarman, director of applied neuroscience at Athletes’ Performance. “If employers shift the responsibility of good health to the employee through rewards or discounts, employees are more likely to make healthier choices."

Tags: Health, Work