How to Increase Employee Participation in Wellness Programs

Wellness Programs That Actually Work

By Carolina Cuartas- June 29, 2017

A United Healthcare Consumer study provided insight into employees’ knowledge and opinions of workplace wellness programs. This study sheds light on why some programs work, while others don’t.


By engaging employees in their health, workplace wellness programs may be able to encourage well-being, prevent disease before it starts and, as result, help lower medical costs,” says Rebecca Madsen, UnitedHealthcare chief consumer officer.

The study shows that even though employees are interested in taking steps to improve their health and wellness, employees don’t want to put the time in.


It was found that 63% of employees are unwilling to devote more than an hour a day to improve their health and well-being. This means that only less than one-third of employees are willing to devote an hour a day to health-related activities such as cooking a healthy meal or going to the gym.”


Factors that hold employees back from utilizing wellness programs:


Offer Time

Wellness programs are way more effective when they are during work hours. Rather than forcing employees to participate in wellness programs outside of work hours, plan a program that can be integrated into their workday.


“Because more than half of employees aren’t willing to devote an hour a day to wellness, employers should give them the opportunity to get healthy at work” .


Bringing wellness programs to employees during the work hours increase participation substantially. Employees are way more likely to participate when wellness programs aren’t during their personal time.


Spread Awareness


The study found that employess underestimate the value of financial rewards and incentives that can be gained. Even though the financial reward annually per employee is about $742, "The Wellness Checkup survey found that 41% of employees estimated the average annual financial reward available through a wellness program to range between $0 and $300, which is significantly lower than what they could be earning by participating.”

Employees may not understand how the program works or the benefits of particular wellness programs. There are various ways to spread awareness about wellness programs like creating a wellness portal to help employees keep track of their progress or monthly newsletters.

Perfect Wellness Program Without Going Over-budget


If you’re looking for a wellness program that fits the criteria of a perfect corporate welness program, chair massage and/or private yoga can be a great fit for your company.


Physical Benefits

  • Reduce pain
  • Increase flexibility
  • Renew the body

Mental Wellness

  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Improve energy and mood
  • Better sleep
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