What is an Employee Wellness Program?

An employee wellness program, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is “a health promotion activity or organization-wide policy designed to support healthy behavior and improve health outcomes while at work.”1

Typical Activities of an Employee Wellness Program

  • health education and coaching
  • weight management programs
  • health fairs
  • medical screenings
  • onsite fitness programs
  • changes to environmental supports, which include physical factors in and around the workplace; for example:
    • on-site food preparation
    • storage to encourage healthy eating; well-lit stairwells to encourage stair use
    • the provision of bicycle racks to encourage biking to work

Policies that Improve Employee Health

Comprehensive wellness programs also include policies intended to improve employee health, including:

  • allowing time for exercise
  • providing on-site kitchens and eating areas
  • offering healthful food/beverage options in vending machines
  • holding “walk and talk” meetings
  • offering financial and other incentives for participation

Other Employee Wellness Programs

Employers may design and implement their own employee wellness programs and policies, or participate in one of the many programs created by organizations such as: