By Sy Mukherjee
April 16, 2019

Good afternoon, readers.

Workplace wellness programs are among the hottest perks employers offer their workers these days. They were incentivized by the Affordable Care Act, promoted by the who’s who of wellness gurus, and conventionally seen as one of the, “Uh, duh” provisions of health benefits.

But are they actually effective?

That’s the question at the center of a wide-ranging new study published in JAMA. And, well, the results are pretty mixed.

From the horse’s mouth: “This randomized clinical trial of a multiyear, multicomponent workplace wellness program implemented in a middle- and lower-income population found that individuals in workplaces where the program was offered reported better health behaviors, including regular exercise and active weight management, but the program did not generate differences in clinical measures of health, health care spending or utilization, or employment outcomes after 18 months.”

There are important caveats here. The study found a lack of ROI in the short term—what happens over a greater period is an open question. And the increase in health mindfulness certainly isn’t bad. The question is, at which point does it become cost-effective (and, better yet, cost-reducing?).

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


You May Like