Workplace Wellness Programs
Friday, October 10, 2008

Companies that offer workplace wellness programs are improving employee health, decreasing absenteeism and saving money. Dr. Ed Hill discusses a recent review of these programs in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Workplace wellness programs are effective in helping employees lose weight, according to researchers who reviewed 11 studies.

The work-site intervention programs lasted a minimum of eight weeks and involved workers aged 32 to 52.

Some of the programs offered a health risk assessment and lab work; others provided one-on-one and email counseling. Only one included on-site exercise sessions, and another added healthy menu items in the cafeteria, along with nutritional information.

Before and after the start of the work-site intervention the participants had their body mass index or weight taken.

On average participants lost from two to 14 pounds compared to employees not involved in the work-site weight loss intervention programs. The workers that did not participate either lost an average of 1 and 1/2 pounds, or gained an average of 1 pound.

Work-site weight loss programs can provide unique opportunities for decreasing adult obesity. The review’s authors pointed out that 65 percent of U.S. adults are classified as overweight or obese. A structured program can offer opportunities to learn about nutrition and exercise.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Ed Hill.