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New Study Shows That Improvements in Employee Health Behaviors Persist Over Two Years
Date:10/25/2012

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- New research shows that the 267 employees of Woodard & Curran in Portland, Maine have demonstrated improvements in health behaviors that persisted for two years. While an epidemic of chronic disease and rising health care costs continue to challenge employers, Woodard & Curran proactively used WellSteps to reduce health risks and improve health behaviors.

Researchers previously demonstrated that the employees at the engineering firm Woodard & Curran ate significantly more fruits and vegetables and got 50 percent more exercise each week than they did at baseline.  A recently published two-year follow-up study now indicates that these improvements have largely persisted.

By participating in the WellSteps Turnkey Solution employees improved nutrition behaviors, physical activity, and other behaviors that have persisted with no evidence of the behavior change decay so often seen in similar research. Further, the number of employees with elevated blood pressure actually decreased twofold from 24% to 12% over the two-year follow-up period. This study was recently published in the academic journal "Population Health Management."

Woodard & Curran demonstrated that by applying effective employee wellness programming, companies can create sustainable improvements in employee health.  This is important because healthier employees are more productive, have better morale and are less likely to require health care services.  As the cost of health care continues to rise, wellness programs like the one used by Woodard & Curran are becoming a business necessity.

Dr. James LeCheminant, lead author of the study states, "An effective wellness program can result in employees adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors which is a necessary first step if employers are to ever reduce health care costs. But this study demonstrates the staying power of a behavior change program combined with strategies to improve the worksite culture of health. Changes in behavior and risk were sustained after two years and in some cases even improved." 

Once believed to be a business strategy exclusively for large companies, this research demonstrates that the benefits of an effective employee wellness program are available to businesses of any size. 

About WellSteps:

WellSteps provides worksites with effective employee wellness solutions.  Woodard & Curran has been using the WellSteps Turnkey Solution.

Media Contact: Steve Aldana WellSteps, 8018647625, steve@wellsteps.com

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