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Employer and Employee Opinions About Workplace Health Promotion (Wellness) Programs: Results of the 2015 Harris Poll Nielsen Survey

McCleary, Katherine MS, CHES; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Roemer, Enid Chung PhD; Berko, Jeff MPH; Kent, Karen MPH; Torre, Hector De La BA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 3 - p 256–263
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000946

Objective: The aim of this study was to provide a current picture of the state of workplace health promotion (wellness) programs in the U.S. from both employer and employee perspectives.

Methods: We analyzed data from two independent surveys of employers (N = 1500) and the general population (N = 4611).

Results: Employers reported offering wellness programs at almost twice the rate of employees who reported having these programs available to them. Most (59.4%) employees felt employers should play a role in improving worker health and nearly three-fourths (72.1%) thought that lower insurance premiums should be offered for participation in wellness programs. However, fewer than half felt that their work environment allows them to maintain good health.

Conclusion: Although wellness programs are offered at the majority of workplaces in the U.S., employees are unlikely to be aware of these efforts and would like employers to be forthcoming in providing programs promoting good health.

Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Washington, District of Columbia (Ms McCleary, Dr Goetzel, Dr Roemer, Mr Berko, Ms Kent); Truven Health Analytics Bethesda, Maryland (Dr Goetzel); and Transamerica Center for Health Studies™ Los Angeles, California (Mr Torre).

Address correspondence to: Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Senior Scientist, Director, Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Vice President, Consulting and Applied Research, Truven Health Analytics, 7700 Old Georgetown Rd., Suite 650, Bethesda, MD 20814 (

Funding for this study was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DP14-001 DP005045-02.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine