diabetes-getty-crop-600x338There are a lot of benefits for employees that result from workplace wellness programs: losing weight, breaking bad habits, increasing activity level, reducing disease risks, etc.  But here’s another one you may not have thought about.  Research shows that participation in wellness initiatives lessens employees’ chances of having a chronic condition that goes undiagnosed.

In a poll conducted by HealthMine, 28% of the 750 participants surveyed had been diagnosed with a chronic condition within the past two years.  Of those, almost half had first been alerted to their condition via their company’s wellness program.  It stands to reason that, in the absence of these programs, those individuals could have gone much longer without a diagnosis and without the treatment they needed.  This is of particular concern considering the fact that roughly 1/3 of people who suffer from diabetes, for example, don’t know they have it.

The poll also questioned respondents as to whether they would participate in various health screenings if their employers offered them.  Most say they would, although their answers vary greatly determining on the type of screening involved.  Almost 3/4 would agree to a screening for blood pressure or vision.  Just under 70% would allow their cholesterol levels to be checked.  Cancer, BMI, and skin screenings came in lower at 58, 54, and 41 percent respectively.

In order for wellness programs to continue to succeed at improving the health of their employees, there must be an effort on the part of employers to help workers learn more about their health status and to connect them to resources that can help improve their health.  And identifying and treating chronic diseases is a great start.

For more information, check out this article on BenefitsPro.