Survey: 88 percent of CEOs said they already offer employees a wellness program

By Aditi Pai

A Fitbit survey of 200 CEOs that run companies with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees found that 88 percent of respondents already offer employees some kind of wellness program. 

When asked whether a social event or a wellness program would more effectively reduce stress in their workforce, 80 percent of CEOs said a wellness program and just 20 percent said an event.

The survey also found that 77 percent of companies have already run an activity challenge for employees and 95 percent plan to create an activity challenge in the next year.

Some 53 percent of CEOs said they think effective wellness programs lead to more engaged employees, while 51 percent said their programs increased employee retention, 47 percent said it lowers healthcare costs, 47 percent said it builds a sense of community in the company, and 44 percent said employees used fewer sick days.

Less than half of the CEOs surveyed, about 44 percent, said they made changes to their wellness program within the last year. Meanwhile, 28 percent said they made changes to their wellness program one to two years ago and 23 percent said they made changes to their program three to five years ago.

The CEOs also shared some of the issues they experienced with wellness programs. About 28 percent of the CEOs surveyed said it is hard to keep track of the data. Additionally, 23 percent said they experience low employee participation, 21 percent said these wellness programs cost a lot, and 11 percent said they don’t have a good way to measure results.

In the company's 2015 year end earnings call, Fitbit said it had added 1,000 enterprise customers to its corporate wellness platform, including Wendy’s, Marathon Petroleum, YMCA, Teach for America, and University of Kentucky. Other customers disclosed in prior earnings calls include Geico, Sutter Health, Trans Union, and Quicken Loans.

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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly checks out the Microsoft HoloLens aboard a space station on February 20, 2016. The device is part of NASA's project Sidekick, which is exploring the use of augmented reality to reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency with which astronauts can work in space. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)