Insight For Workplace Wellness
Managers: What Motivates Employees to Change Lifestyle Behavior
nearly half (44 percent) of all employees considered themselves in
above average health, a surprising few (one in five employees) actually
adhere to the minimum standards of healthy eating, including consuming
one serving of whole grain and fruit each day, found a recent national
survey. And, only one in two employees undertake minimal physical
activity such as walking or gardening for ten minutes at least four
days a week.
employees report themselves to be in "very good" or "excellent" health,
despite failing to reach even the minimum levels of physical activity
and nutritional recommendations, according to the Employee Engagement
Poll released by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).
while many consumers understand basic health and wellness messages that
good diet and exercise are important, a vast majority cannot answer
specific questions about how such variables as body weight, cholesterol
or blood pressure may impact quality of life.
poll highlights an opportunity for health and wellness programs offered
by employers around the country to more closely align consumer
perceptions of good health with greater engagement in activities that
potentially have a positive impact on quality of life and medical
costs," said Scott P. Serota, BCBSA president and CEO.
poll also found that two-thirds (67 percent) of employees who do not
have health and wellness programs at work would like their employers to
offer them. Among all employees, meanwhile, the majority (54 percent)
would appreciate more health and wellness assistance from their
companies that invest in these initiatives, employees report healthier
behavior, including being more active, following a healthier diet and
getting recommended health screenings. In addition, they say that they
are more productive. Finally, these workers are also much more likely,
on average (64 percent), to believe that their employer cares about
their health. The poll, conducted by Knowledge Networks, surveyed 3,063
working men and women ages, 18 to 60.
connection with the release of the survey results, BCBSA also said six
national employers in the program have partnered with their local Blue
companies for a program called Engaging Consumers@Work.
pilot program has been introduced to nearly 15,000 employees at
AutoZone, CVS, Lozier, Staples, Vetter Health Services and Visant
Corporation in collaboration with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
companies in their respective states. The Harvard Medical School
Department of Health Care Policy is conducting a rigorous evaluation of
the program to determine the most effective ways to communicate and
execute workplace health engagement programs. The findings will be
reported by Harvard later this year.
our employees in workplace health programs helps reduce their health
risks, improve productivity and increase employee satisfaction," said
Bill Rhodes, president and CEO of AutoZone. "This study will help us
determine how we can better inform our employees and motivate them to
make better life healthcare choices."
added: "Because most adults spend half or more of their waking hours at
work, employers have a real opportunity to positively impact the health
of their employees. However, as the poll shows, we have much to learn
about employee health perceptions and behaviors. We believe that the
data derived from the Engaging Consumers@Work pilot will help to
improve the effectiveness of health and wellness programs by ensuring
that more education results in not just greater awareness but also
Engaging Consumers@Work pilot initiative has three components:
education, activation and research. It offers workplace materials that
encourage employees to increase physical activity, make better
nutrition choices and reduce healthcare expenses by choosing generic
drugs, when possible. Engaging Consumers@Work also offers a walking
program that tracks progress through the use of a pedometer, weekly
e-mail reminders about the benefits of walking, arranged walking
competitions and a nutrition guide.
employees live healthier is of growing interest and importance to
employers. Business decision-makers are constantly looking for
solutions to the health cost crisis and they want to know what works,"
said Helen Darling, president, National Business Group on Health. "This
program offers opportunities to improve how we communicate with
consumers and how they process healthcare messaging, which could help
employers and employees lower healthcare costs and improve their
For more information on
BlueWorks and the national Employer Engagement Poll, visit the employer
section on www.bcbs.com/blueworks.