Research/studies Worker health and wellness

Small businesses less likely to offer health programs: study

Elk Grove Village, IL – Employees at small businesses are less likely to have access to workplace wellness programs, according to a study from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Analyzing the findings of 19 studies of workplace wellness programs in small businesses, researchers found preventive health initiatives and disease management receive less attention at small businesses despite being “equally important for clinical implications” of workers.

Cost was identified as a key barrier to implementation of wellness programs at small businesses. Small businesses also are less likely to offer health insurance and therefore do not have financial incentive to lower employee insurance premiums by improving health, the researchers said.

Studies that have evaluated wellness programs at small businesses have shown improvement in employee health, including areas such as diet, physical activity and emotional health, according to an ACOEM press release.

The study was published in the June issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.