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A look at wellness programs

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There are many reasons why em­­ployers offer workplace wellness programs, including to combat obesity and the rapidly increasing costs of medical care and health insurance, writes Napala Pratini.

• At the start of a wellness program, wellness screenings are administered to identify health risks and to develop preventive strategies. These screenings can be self-administered and focus on identifying health-related behavior.

• Preventive strategies can in­­clude nutrition, weight-management and smoking-cessation programs.

• A benefit of a workplace wellness program is tackling health risks with the support of your employer. Many companies have begun to provide financial incentives to employees for developing healthy habits.

• Drawbacks keeping employees from participating in wellness programs stem from privacy concerns and employers having access to employees’ health information.

• Despite the drawbacks, studies show that participation in workplace wellness programs increases em­­ployee engagement, decreases absenteeism and increases job satisfaction.

— Adapted from “What You Need to Know About Workplace Wellness Programs,” Napala Pratini, NerdWallet.

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