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Worksite Wellness Promotion Is A Growing Trend

MANASQUAN, NJ -- Health and wellness promotion at the workplace is on the rise, and there are indications that this trend will wind its way through the coming decade.

At least nine out of 10 domestic worksites currently offer some type of wellness program, according to information compiled by The Wellness Program Management Yearbook. Rising healthcare costs and increased awareness of wellness program benefits have contributed to the growth of the concept, according to yearbook findings.

According to a 1999 National Worksite Health Promotion survey, at least 84 percent of surveyed employers reported that maintaining the health of their employees provided strong motivation for instituting wellness health promotion.

However, employers have a variety of reasons for sponsoring wellness programs, the yearbook found. Chief among those reasons are improving employee morale, noted by 77 percent of the respondents; reducing healthcare costs, cited by 76 percent; and retaining valued employees, mentioned by 75 percent.

Information compiled by the yearbook revealed that numerous business concerns also figured into the decision to provide worksite wellness programs. Healthcare costs, cited by 94 percent, topped the list. Other business concerns included: employee performance at 89 percent, occupational injury and accidents at 89 percent, and attraction and retention of skilled employees at 85 percent. While compiling worksite wellness information, however, the yearbook came across some interesting facts. For instance, although the surveyed companies recognized the business implications of poor employee health, only half of these worksites regard health as a core business value that is essential to the achievement of business objectives, the yearbook learned.

Other yearbook information pointed to a strong like between the presence of health as an "explicit corporate mission or value and a higher incidence of all types of health promotion programs, stronger evaluation efforts, higher participation and fewer perceived barriers to success."

Employee and family access to health and wellness promotion programs also jumps when employers offer programs at the worksite and through health plans, according to the yearbook data.

More information about The Wellness Program Management Yearbook is available online at: http://www.healthresourcesonline.com.

For additional information about The Wellness Program Management Yearbook, contact the American Business Publishing, 1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite F4, Manasquan, NJ 08736; call toll-free 888-THE-MCIC (1-888-516-4343), fax toll-free (888) FAX-MCIC (1-888-329-6242), or visit http://www.themcic.com.