Like it or not, you probably spend more hours at work than just about anywhere else. So it makes sense that a healthier workplace could lead to increased well-being. Employers are taking note, with an increasing number of organizations offering health and well-being initiatives.
More than half (53 percent) of employees with access to an employer-sponsored well-being program say the initiative has had a positive effect on their health, according to UnitedHealthcare’s 2018 “Wellness Check Up Survey.” Of those, 88 percent said the programs motivated them to pay more attention to their health, 67 percent reported the initiatives helped them lose weight, and 30 percent said they helped detect a disease or medical condition.
Among employees without access to well-being programs, 73 percent of respondents said they would be interested in such initiatives if offered, including 42 percent who are “very interested.”
In today’s competitive business environment, offering these programs might help companies establish themselves as “employers of choice,” said Rebecca Madsen, UnitedHealthcare chief consumer officer. “By investing in wellness programs, employers are in a unique position to drive engagement and create healthier, happier and more productive workforces.”
Other survey findings show more employees than ever are using activity trackers, with 27 percent owning one of the devices, double the 13 percent of them who owned a device the previous year.
Despite that increase in active tracker usage, the survey found that many employees overestimate their levels of physical activity. Seventy-four percent claimed they met government recommendations for physical activity (defined as at least two and a half hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two days or more per week of moderate- or high-intensity muscle-strengthening activities). However, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reports that just 20 percent of people meet those recommended guidelines.
Whether you have a wellness program at your job or not, it’s important to take responsibility for your own health and wellness. Seek out resources through your community, health plan or employer to help support your own wellness journey