Are Today’s Wellness Programs Running Out of Steam?

Today’s headline from Fox news says, “Despite Perceived Effectiveness, Most Employees Who Participate in Wellness Programs Do Not Stay Committed.”. The survey, conducted by Guardian Life Insurance Company North America, reports the following statistic:

Nearly half of employees who have participated in wellness programs in the past three years admit that their commitment trails off after just a few years

Wellness programs have been all the rage for the past several years. Employers have been advocating a healthy lifestyle for their workforces by implementing a whole host of rewards programs. Employees are encouraged to get healthy by giving up tobacco, keeping their cholesterol in check, exercise, and eat right.

And, how, pray tell, do employers make this healthy magic happen? With a wave of the magic wand called “cash,” of course! Employees who participate in their employer’s wellness program are often rewarded with cash prizes, reduced health insurance premiums, or, maybe, just the satisfaction of a healthier lifestyle.

And what’s in it for employers? For one, the hope of healthy employees who cost less in insurance premiums. You know the saying, “an ounce of prevention,” . . .. Some subscribe to the theory that healthier employees are more productive employees who make more money for their employers and cost their employers less. Go figure!!

Treadmill-Desk In One
Why whistle while you work when you can walk? Another invention for the healthy-office initiative.

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So why, according to the survey, aren’t employees sticking with it? Could it be that money really doesn’t motivate? Could it be that a healthy lifestyle requires more effort than the average American worker is willing to give it?

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