Employees Back Workplace Wellness Efforts

January 22, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Many employees have apparently gotten the message about the benefits of healthy living and look for help in achieving that goal from their employer.

That was a key finding of a new survey by employee assistance program provider ComPsych Corporation, according to a news release.

ComPsych found 42% of employees said they were highly motivated to eat right, and nearly a quarter (23%) said they were highly motivated to exercise. If their employers sponsored a wellness program, another 67% of employees said they would be likely to use it.

Other survey findings included:

  • Employees said a personal coach was the number one motivator to help them improve their health and lifestyle, more so than days off work.
  • Appearance – not health – was the most important motivator for both eating right and exercising.
  • Employees reported having low levels of energy and longing for physical activity during the day to help boost energy levels. Very few employees had adequate levels of exercise.
  • More than 74% of survey respondents said health and lifestyle had a significant impact on productivity, and lack of energy was reported as the number one hindrance to productivity.

“Employees recognize the need for healthier habits and many have made New Year’s resolutions to make changes,” said Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych, in the news release. “But we are still seeing a general lack of accountability for achieving personal health. Workers are seeking outside motivation (such as through personal trainers and a healthier workplace) for health improvement.”

The study was conducted from November 10 to December 14, 2007, receiving responses from more than 1,000 ComPsych client companies. A copy of the study is available via e-mail at jhudson@compsych.com .