Many See Workplace Key to Getting Healthy

WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) — Many U.S. companies say newly enacted healthcare reform legislation will not by itself will make for a healthier America, a survey indicates.

Of the U.S. employers surveyed, 40 percent indicate their healthcare costs have risen from 6 percent to 10 percent in the past year, with nearly 35 percent reporting an increase of more than 11 percent.

The employers say the reasons for the medical inflation are pharmaceutical and hospital costs, and an overall decline in workforce health due to chronic conditions.

More than 62 percent of the 1,012 employer respondents — the employer portion of the survey was conducted by Workforce Management magazine drawing from a list of its subscribers, along with advisory company members of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management and Virgin HealthMiles clients — say the workplace must play a leading role in helping develop a healthier workforce.

The employee part of the survey was completed by 1,926 Virgin HealthMiles members. Virgin HealthMiles is a provider of workplace health and activity programs that pay people to get active.

Almost 75 percent of employees say they would be more apt to adopt healthful lifestyle behaviors if their colleagues did as well, while 60 percent say they would adopt such behaviors if company executives were leading by example.

The survey, released to mark the start of National Employee Wellness Month in June, was conducted April 14-29 via e-mail. No margin of error was provided.

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