A growing number of employers nationwide are offering employee wellness programs, with many linking financial incentives to employee participation and health outcomes.
But with increased popularity comes many questions: Are workplace wellness programs effective or an invasion of employee privacy? Does offering people financial incentives lead to lasting changes that foster physical well-being? Are wellness programs truly voluntary if employees face financial penalties for not participating?
“We have lots more to learn about what constitutes the best evidenced-based workplace wellness programs,” says Laurie Whitsel, director of policy research for the American Heart Association. “It’s important for companies to offer comprehensive wellness programs and a culture of health in the workplace that supports employee health and well-being.”