Human Resources News & Insights

Crucial question to ask wellness participants

There’s one question many companies aren’t asking that could pinpoint who would benefit most from your wellness program.

The question: How stressed are you?

The Mayo Clinic asked 13,198 employees who participate in one of the clinic’s wellness centers to rate their stress levels on a scale of 0 (as bad as it can be) to 10 (as good as it can be), as well as answer questions about their quality of life, fatigue, exercise, diet, smoking and health problems.

More than 2,100 employees rated their stress level 3 or below. And when those highly-stressed employees were compared to the rest of the group they were found to have poorer health and more fatigue.

The highly-stressed group was more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and obesity.

Those in the high stress group also had less confidence than their peers in their ability to improve their health.

Improve their state of mind

As the research shows, stress levels are something employer wellness programs will want to monitor.

Some suggestions from the studies’ lead researcher Matthew Clark, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic: Find out which employees are in this at-risk group and offer them yoga, tai chi, meditation courses, stress management classes or sessions with a wellness coach who can help them improve their health.

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