Do Workplace Wellness Programs Improve Employees’ Health?

The idea of a wellness program is to emphasize healthy employee behaviors and help them identify lifestyle and disease risks. Does it work? Sharon Begley investigates in an article for STAT. In the first place, it seems there are a lot of shady wellness vendors out there making improvement claims that have no basis in reality, so that is a problem. Basically, as is a problem in the scientific community, these vendors only want to report data on success, not failure, making it more difficult to obtain reliable data. But when examining the modicum of more reliable data, several of the gains in wellness programs are modest if they exist at all. Begley and the experts she cites however seem to agree that in the end, a wellness program’s success has a lot to do with cultural commitment and making sound use of best practices.

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