Wellness program may impact worker health

May 26, 2006 at 1:51 PM
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BUFFALO, N.Y., May 26 (UPI) -- Preliminary findings from a University at Buffalo study suggests that if an employer is concerned with wellness, it may impact employee health.

Under a new wellness program in western New York begun in 2005, each employer developed a wellness program tailored to the needs of its employees such as nutrition education, physical-activity promotion, weight management and stress reduction.

Employees were encouraged to complete confidential individual health surveys and receive a baseline personal health-risk assessment.

Only two work sites received scores of 60 percent or above on their environmental health assessments. A comparison of these employers with the lower-scoring companies, based on their aggregate employee health assessments, showed that fewer employees of the higher-scoring companies were overweight or obese.

They also had a lower body mass index and reported fewer days lost to illness, and more employees reported exercising three or more times a week.

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