New research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that workplace wellness programs are largely ineffective. For the study, 3,300 employees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign were given a year of access to iThrive, a workplace wellness program. A control group of 1,534 did not get access. The study found that wellness programs (even those with significant monetary incentives) fail to modify employee behavior. For example, offering a $100 reward for health screening only boosted participation to 59 percent; $200 got 63 percent. Medical spending by both groups through the university’s health insurance program “was almost identical.” The findings were published as a whitepaper at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Access the findings here.