Despite employers’ increased efforts to get people to focus on their health, stress is causing workers to put their well-being on the back burner.
That’s what Towers Watson found when it surveyed more than 9,000 workers at large and mid-sized firms.
Here are two very notable findings from the survey:
- Just 59% of employees believe their health is a top priority (down from 69% in 2008), and
- Only 59% of workers took actions in the last two years to significantly improve their health (down from 65% two years ago).
The survey also found that fewer employees are participating in employer-sponsored wellness programs (weight loss, smoking cessation, etc.). For example: Only 20% of workers used an employer-sponsored lifestyle management program last year, compared to the 26% who did so in 2008.
These findings are very discouraging for employers that are banking on controlling rising health costs through healthier employees.
However, the Towers Watson survey did reveal one ray of hope: Workers are becoming more aware of their health risks. Forty-three percent of employees completed a health risk assessment (HRA) last year — compared to the 26% who did so in 2008.
The next step is motivating employees to use their HRA results to change their lifestyles for the better.
Readers, have stress and/or financial pressures caused you to focus less on your health and well-being recently?