Do healthy workplaces make for healthy employees?

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If your company isn't doing anything to encourage employee health and wellbeing it's time to step up your game. A new survey shows companies with a strong “culture of health” have healthier, happier employees.
Wellness and healthy living programs are increasingly popular, with half of companies now offering some form of wellness support. Those with robust plans and a culture of health are likely enabling their employees to be happier and less stressed, according to a new survey from  Aon Hewitt and the National Business Group on Health.
"Many employees recognize the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, but may not have the time or motivation to take action," said Joann Hall Swenson, health engagement leader at Aon Hewitt. "Our survey shows that organizations that foster a strong culture of health, through leading by example and encouraging healthy activities, will cultivate a workforce that demonstrates better health behaviors and is more actively engaged."
Employees who work in strong cultures of health were also more likely to say they have control over their health than those who work at companies where it is less of a priority. They were also more likely to take positive steps to improve their health such as having an annual physical and exercising regularly.
"It is exciting to see that employees are getting the message that their employer cares about their health and well-being and wants them to be happy and productive" said Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health. "Over the last several years, employers have implemented a wide range of health promotion programs that foster strong cultures of health because they understand that healthy employees are engaged, happy and productive."
Employee Action Companies with Strong
Cultures of Health
Companies with Weak
Cultures of Health
Feel they have control over their health 75% 63%
Report stress has a negative impact on work 25% 49%
Report general happiness 66% 32%
Had an annual physical in last year 72% 64%
Exercise at least three days a week 62% 49%
Participated in a wellness program 77% 46%
Next week on HRM: The do’s and don’t’s of creating a culture of health

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