Report Finds Wellness Initiatives are Affected by Workers’ Emotional Health

by: Nichole Gunn October 12, 2011

Anyone who has struggled with weight loss knows there may very well be some emotional elements involved. Well, now there is evidence that this is true, and that its affects can hinder a business’ wellness initiatives.

A report released by ComPsych Corporation reveals that a number of workers may not be able to take advantage of health and wellness programs due to mental and/or emotional issues. ComPsych is the world's largest provider of employee assistance programs, and its ComPsych HealthyGuidance® programs focus on employee lifestyles and behavioral issues before they have the chance to turn into major illnesses.

The report is helpful to companies everywhere that take the initiative to implement corporate wellness programs as a strategy to enhance worker health and well-being, as well as reduce healthcare costs. Realizing that some workers are beyond the help incentive programs allows insight into where the programs are working effectively and where they are lacking.

ComPsych CEO and chairman Dr. Richard Chaifetz explained, “There is strong correlation between high stress/emotional issues and poor lifestyle choices. For example, smoking and overeating may be a means to self-medicate undiagnosed depression.” He went on to add that for corporate health and wellness programs to be effective, they need to focus on both the physical and emotional elements of employee well-being. This might entail offering counseling to help “address underlying issues.”

According to the report results, 43 percent of the respondents cited not receiving needed family support; 40 percent claimed they suffered with either a physical or emotional health issue that hinders normal activities; 36 percent cited being anxious most of the time; and 21 percent claimed they were depressed within the last month.

Along with the emotional aspects of the survey, findings show that a number of employees make unhealthy lifestyle choices. Statistics include: 34 percent of the participants cited eating one or less vegetables and fruits daily; 23 percent “admitted to binge drinking” within the last six months; and 16 percent cited not getting enough sleep.

Additional findings show that workers who are dealing with emotional or mental issues, or are involved in unhealthy lifestyles can benefit from corporate health and wellness programs that are properly designed.

One company taking action is Sensei. It realizes the problem and recently announced the initiation of Sensei Wellness. Sensei is a healthcare company that provides innovative solutions and advanced technology, and its new application connects employers and clients, and saves resources, time, and money.

Sensei founder and CEO Robert Schwarzberg explained, “Sensei makes wellness easy to implement and highly engaging – Sensei makes wellness work. Success is measured by engagement, outcomes, satisfaction, and the health of individuals and organizations.”

About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.