The Skinny on Workplace Wellness Programs

About 51 percent of U.S. employers offer wellness programs. Larger employers are more likely to have more-complex programs.

Choose This, Not That

Some wellness programs provide lifestyle management services to help workers make positive changes in their health-related behaviors. How common are specific lifestyle initiatives among employers that offer a wellness program?

61 percentNutrition/weight
59 percentSmoking
55 percentFitness
40 percentAlcohol/drug abuse
40 percentStress management
28 percentHealth education

Micromanagement Can Be Good

Some wellness programs provide disease management services that give workers ongoing, individualized support for issues related to chronic illness, such as medication adherence. How common are specific disease management initiatives among among employers that offer a wellness program?

48 percentDiabetes
34 percentAsthma
33 percentCoronary Artery Disease
30 percentHeart Failure
30 percentDepression
29 percentCancer
26 percentCOPD/Emphysema
17 percentBack Pain

On average, only 16% of employees take advantage of disease management services.

Getting a Health Promotion

Many employers—even some that don't offer a formal wellness program—provide a variety of health promotion activities meant to encourage healthy lifestyles. How common are specific health promotion initiatives among employers that offer a wellness program?

76 percentOnsite Immunizations
55 percentFitness Benefits
44 percentNurse Advice Lines
21 percentHealthy Foods

Screening a Good Call

Screening activities identify health risks at an individual level, heightening employees' awareness and helping them find appropriate resources. They also reveal the overall burden of health risk—information useful for planning, program evaluation, and risk management. How common are specific clinical screening tests among employers that offer a wellness program?

47 percentBlood pressure
39 percentBlood glucose
38 percentCholesterol/lipids
34 percentBMI/body fat
7 percentCancer
6 percentTobacco use
3 percentStress
12 percentOther (includes bone density, general exam, and vision/hearing tests)

Employee Assessments and Rewards

Health risk questionnaires collect information about common risk factors related to behaviors and characteristics, such as nutrition, physical activity, and smoking. Two-thirds of employers with a wellness program invite workers to complete questionnaires, and about as many offer incentives for questionnaire completion or other forms of participation. How common are specific incentives among employers who offer them?

47 percentMerchandise/Gift Cards
37 percentHealth Plan Premium Discount
42 percentGym Discount
21 percentCash

Infographic by Erin-Elizabeth Johnson and Dori Gordon Walker.

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