Workplace Wellness Services Run the Gamut, Study Finds

Workplace Wellness Services Run the Gamut, Study Finds

Wellness professionals say stress management is one of the most-requested services of worksite health promotion programs; if a worksite wellness organization offers a stress management seminar, it is always well-attended.

If there is no such program on the agenda, employees request it — and request it often, according to the exclusive ROI survey conducted by Wellness Program Management Advisor.

Stress

Almost 95 percent of the Workplace Wellness Management Survey respondents said some form of stress management was part of their wellness curriculum; relaxation techniques, massage therapy and mind-body programs were components of various stress management programs offered by worksite wellness groups, the survey found.

“Our employees are concerned about all aspects of their health,” said a wellness program coordinator whose overall program budget exceeds $50,000. “But stress is always right up there at the top of the list. Everything else they do to maintain their health doesn’t matter as much if they feel they can’t cope with things on a daily basis.”

The respondent added that employees who feel better about their ability to manage stress levels are more likely to participate in other wellness programs.

“It [stress management] has a major impact on their general attitudes and how they feel about themselves,” the respondent noted. “If people feel calm and in control, they feel empowered. And if they’re empowered, they often find the energy and desire to do other positive things, like joining a weight-loss program. Or they might decide to quit smoking. It has a domino effect in the best sense.”

Other survey respondents noted that participants in stress management programs often sought relief from depression as well.

“During a discussion after a stress management seminar, at least a dozen people mentioned depression and stress in the same sentence,” said a wellness program coordinator. “One problem seems to feed off the other.”

Fitness

Respondents said employees showed enthusiasm for weight control and fitness groups, while interest in blood pressure, nutrition and general heath screening programs also ranked high. Here are some of the most popular services included in worksite wellness programs, according to our survey respondents:

     * Stress management: 95 percent.

     * High blood pressure: 94 percent.

     * Weight control: 93 percent.

     * General fitness: 91 percent.

     * Health screenings: 89 percent.

     * Nutrition: 87 percent.

     * Smoking cessation: 80 percent.

     * Health risk assessments: 77 percent.

     * Disease management: 69 percent.

     * Health education classes: 61 percent.

     * Employee assistance programs: 54 percent.

     * Onsite fitness centers: 49 percent.

Health club subsidies were mentioned by 40 percent of the respondents, while prenatal care was noted by 39 percent, according to the survey.

Respondents included games of sport, such as bowling and softball, in the general fitness category, along with walking, running, aerobics and cardio-vascular exercises; others noted breast cancer exams, cholesterol testing and the monitoring of glucose levels in the health screening category.

Those interested in disease management said diabetes, obesity, glaucoma and chronic pain control (including problems stemming from arthritis) were chief concerns, the survey found.

Address: Wellness Program Management Advisor, 1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite S 200, Manasquan, NJ 08736; (732) 292-1100, www.wellnessjunction.com.

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