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Guardian Survey: Despite Perceived Effectiveness, Most Employees Who Participate in Wellness Programs Do Not Stay Committed
Date:3/31/2008

"Workplace-based wellness programs are growing in popularity with employers, largely to promote prevention and early intervention as a means to help control the cost of healthcare," said Tim Bireley, vice president, Group Medical, Guardian. "With only a third of employees reporting that wellness programs are available at their jobs, employers and the benefits industry have to do a better job of increasing awareness about these programs. There is also an enormous opportunity to educate small and midsize business owners about the benefits of wellness initiatives. If most employees at companies large and small were actively participating in wellness programs we might see a significant decline in the cost of medical care in the United States."

A separate 2007 Guardian survey, shows that larger employers are more likely to embrace wellness programs.
-- 82% of small employers, 90% of midsize employers and 99% of large

employers see value in implementing wellness programs. Yet only 57% of

the small businesses that value wellness programs have implemented some

type of plan.

-- This is compared to greater adoption in larger companies: 79% of the

midsize businesses and 90% of large businesses that value wellness

programs have one in place.

"Wellness programs can be simple, affordable and fun," said Bireley. "Employee incentives can be as elaborate as offering a trip to Tahiti in exchange for exercising an hour each day, or as basic as an extra vacation day for kicking a smoking habit. Insurance companies can make wellness efforts easier for business owners by embedding programs such as gym membership and alternative medicine discounts into their health plans or offering a free nurse line number that employees can use for preventative care."

Diplomas, Yachts, Tai Chi, and Pilates

College graduates and the affluent are most likely to have participated in a wellness program in the past thr
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SOURCE The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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