Why “bringing worksite wellness home” makes sense
Posted on Feb 18, 2013 | Written by Edward Framer, Ph.D. | Comments (0)
Traditionally, worksite wellness programs have focused on improving the health of employees at the worksite. But health care cost trends for family coverage, combined with changes to benefit eligibility, build a case for the need to “bring wellness home” and engage the entire family in healthy choices together.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act, approximately 2.9 million adult children who were previously not eligible for benefits are now enrolled in a parent’s employer-sponsored health plan, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.
Combine this with the 97% increase in average premiums for family coverage since 2002 ($8,003 in 2002 to $15,745 in 2012), and it’s easy to see why some employers include spouses and dependents in their wellness programs as a means to increase healthy behaviors and contain health care cost creep.
In the January/February 2013 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, I co-wrote “Family Wellness: The Power is in Being Healthy Together” with Judd Allen, Ph.D., of the Human Resources Institute, and Mari Ryan, of AdvancingWellness. In this article, we discuss the health benefits of family, how family behavior influences lifestyle practices, and tips to include family wellness in organizational health promotion programs.
While we found some companies already address family wellness in innovative and effective ways, we see many opportunities for employer-sponsored wellness programs to strengthen the family environment to enable easier adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors. Ultimately, we see the benefits of doing so would be a pervasive culture of health not just in the workplace but in the home environment, too.
Below is a snapshot of findings discussed in our article. To download the full report on engaging families in health promotion, please visit the American Journal of Health Promotion here.Click to see more
Ed is the director of health and behavioral sciences. He brings expertise in health assessments, behavior analysis, health psychology, incentives and health promotion/disease prevention interventions. A behavioral psychologist with a doctorate in clinical psychology, he has been involved in the development of health assessments for more than 25 years.