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Implementing wellness programs is the most popular idea.

Project Health is a workplace health program provided by Region of Waterloo that provides a variety of health promotion services to local workplaces interested in improving and/or sustaining a healthy workplace.

Wellness is also a process for change and growth” (Health Topic – What is wellness?).

Although these incentives and disincentives do prompt workers to participate in wellness programs, the evidence is mixed on whether the result is real improvements in health outcomes. And to date, there have been no published, independent studies on how changes in premiums or cost sharing affect the health outcomes of workers.

Health and Wellness Problems in the Workplace.

CCOHS is Canada's national resource for the advancement of workplace health and safety.

This report, on the strategic value of wellness, provides state-of-the-art, evidence-based information on why investing in employee wellness makes sense. It also includes practical insights on how to encourage a culture of wellness in your workplace.

How do you develop a health and wellness program for the workplace? Here are seven steps to get you started on your own workplace wellness program for employees.

Wellness defined: what a workplace-wellness program might include.

Find out how employers and employees can work together to promote healthier workplaces.

We cannot achieve universal health coverage (UHC) unless a health worker – with the right skills, equipment and support – is within reach of every person, said Jim Campbell, Director, Global Health Workforce Alliance, Director Health Workforce Department, WHO.

A frequently voiced argument in defense of wellness programs is that the main obstacle to return on investment is lack of employee participation (“engagement” in industry-speak).

Research has been done on how effective health and wellness programs can be in the workplace.
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Retrieved on October 25, 2004 from Health and Wellness database.

Employers are also linking participation in wellness programs to employees' costs for health coverage--for example, by reducing premium contributions for workers who are in wellness programs, or by reducing the amounts they must pay in deductibles and copayments when they obtain health services. Another trend among employers who offer multiple health plans is to allow participation in a comprehensive plan only to those employees who agree to participate in the wellness program. Those employees who do not participate in a wellness program are offered a less comprehensive plan, or one that requires them to pay more in premiums or cost sharing.

Retrieved on October 25, 2004 from Health and Wellness database.

One 2011 survey of about 600 large US employers found that nearly half already employ or plan to implement financial penalties over the next three to five years for employees who don't participate in wellness programs. More than 80 percent of those employers who use or plan to use penalties say they will do so through higher premiums.

The healthy workplace: promoting wellness for a profitable company.

Inducements To Participate: Although almost all workplace wellness programs are voluntary, employers are increasingly using incentives to encourage employee participation. These incentives range from such items as t-shirts or baseball caps to cash or gifts of significant value. Studies indicate, moreover, that financial incentives do prompt more employees to participate in wellness programs.

Wellness defined: what a workplace-wellness program might include.

Gautam Gowrisankaran of the University of Arizona in Tucson and coauthors evaluated the effectiveness of a wellness program introduced in 2005 by BJC HealthCare, a hospital system in St. Louis, Missouri. The program was associated with a 41 percent decrease in hospitalizations for six targeted conditions, including diabetes and hypertensive heart disease. Although inpatient costs decreased, the reductions were counterbalanced by nearly equivalent increases in noninpatient costs, such as for drugs. Overall, the program did not save employers money in the short term.

Retrieved on October 25, 2004 from Health and Wellness database.

All information on Teen Health & Wellness is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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