workers are often more productive. And employers are taking
notice: An increasing number of them now offer benefits that
encourage healthier lifestyles.
As the chart shows, the percentage of
workers in private industry who have access to
health-promotion benefits rose between 1999 and 2006. The
most widely offered of these benefits were employee
assistance programs, which help workers deal with personal
problems such as substance abuse and financial and legal
troubles. Also common were wellness programs, including
nutrition education, stress-reduction assistance, and
smoking-cessation classes. Access to onsite fitness centers
or help with fitness center fees were less common, but these
benefits also grew.
These data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) National Compensation Survey. For more
information, call (202) 691-6199 or visit online at www.bls.gov/ncs.
Throughout the years, BLS has expanded its surveys to
measure changing trends. When the OOQ first appeared
in the 1950s, ongoing BLS surveys didnít measure benefits.
Comprehensive surveys of health insurance and other benefits
began in 1979. And by 1999, BLS data on health-promotion
benefits included the categories shown on the chart.