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NBGH Survey Finds Recession Driving Many American Workers to Make Lifestyle Changes to Help Control Health Care Costs
Date:5/27/2009

WASHINGTON, May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Underscoring the broad-based impact imposed by the worst economic environment in decades, the recession is taking a toll on some American workers' health and, consequently, is driving many workers to make behavioral changes to improve their health and well-being and better control their own health care costs, according to a new survey commissioned and released today by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH).

NBGH represents 300 large employers - including 60 of the Fortune 100 - providing health benefits to over 55 million American workers, dependents, and retirees. The survey of 1,500 workers employed at large employers (2,000 or more employees) was conducted by Fidelity Investments in March 2009. Workers in the survey are between the ages of 22 and 69 and provided benefits through an employer-sponsored or union-sponsored health plan.

"These data confirm that the widespread economic anxiety is cascading onto individual workers' health and well-being," said National Business Group on Health President Helen Darling. "At the same time, the data also show that workers are more aligned with businesses about cost concerns and that individuals are taking demonstrable steps to improve their own personal health. For workers, businesses, and policymakers, this environment presents a 'teachable moment' to inculcate a renewed culture of health, including making healthier food choices and increased exercise."

NBGH commissioned this survey to ascertain how the recession is affecting American workers and to provide a snapshot about those areas where businesses should work more closely with their employees to help support them during a very challenging environment. Among the key findings:

  • The economic downturn is taking a toll on employees' physical and mental health. More than one-in-four respondents -
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SOURCE National Business Group on Health
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