Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2017

Abstract

It seems that everybody loves workplace wellness programs. The Chamber of Commerce has firmly endorsed those progarms, as have other business groups. So has President Obama, and even liberal firebrands like former Senator Tom Harkin. And why not? After all, what's not to like about programs that encourage people to adopt healthy habits like exercise, nutritious eating, and quitting smoking? The proponents of these programs speak passionately, and with evident good intentions, about reducing the crushing burden that chronic disease places on individuals, families, communities, and the economy as a whole. What's not to like? Plenty. Workplace wellness programs are often well-intentioned, and they are certainly pushed forward by an industry of consultants who offer data that are facially convincing regarding their value. But many workplace wellness programs push--if not exceed--the boundaries of the law. A growing body of evidence indivates that reliance on workplace wellness programs to reduce the burden of disease is bad--and likely futile--health policy.


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