Worker health and wellness

Survey highlights barriers to wellness program participation

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Photo: Christopher Futcher/iStockphoto

Boston – Some workers may not participate in workplace wellness programs because they are concerned about their privacy, and many may not even be aware of their employer’s program, according to a survey conducted by consulting firm Brodeur Partners.

Researchers found that half of the workers surveyed cited privacy concerns as the reason for not participating in wellness programs. Other reasons included doubts as to whether the program would be helpful (31 percent) and a lack of confidence in an employer’s ability to effectively run a wellness program (19 percent).

The survey also showed that resistance to employer-sponsored wellness programs increases with age. About one-quarter of workers younger than 35 said they do not or would not participate, about one-third of 35- to 54-year-old workers do not/would not participate, and 45 percent of workers older than 54 do not/would not participate.

Only one-third of survey respondents said their employer had a health and wellness program, a figure standing in contrast to a Society for Human Resource Management study that concluded about 70 percent of employers have such programs.

Some studies have found wellness programs can improve employee health and reduce the risk of injuries.

The survey results come from interviews with 542 adult Americans, and results were weighted based on U.S. Census data to reflect demographics of the national population.