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43 Employee Wellness Statistics Every Employer Should Know in 2021

Important employee health and wellness statisticsEvery company hopes to maximize its employee productivity. In recent years, much research has been done on how employee mental and physical health play into that. Overall, the working world has seen that happy employees are more productive.

Below is a list of research and statistics to show many aspects of employee health and wellness.

Table of Contents


  • 66% of employers desire a mobile-first app for their employees (Shortlister, 2019) 
  • Half of employers (49%) would implement a wellness program through a third-party vendor (Shortlister, 2019) 
  • More than half of employers are adding more niche “point solutions” such as diabetes management, mental well-being, financial wellness, etc. (Shortlister, 2019) 
  • Companies are less interested in implementing outcome-based wellness programs, from 72% in 2017 to 39% in 2019 (Shortlister, 2019) 
  • There is a growing demand for mental well-being programs, financial wellness, as well as behavioral health (Shortlister, 2019) 
  • The demand for all-in-one vendor or piecing together point solutions is the same (Shortlister, 2019) 
  • The top three issues that clients encounter when implementing multiple point solutions are communication, integration, and confusion (Shortlister, 2019)


Employee Wellness Program Availability

  • More than three-quarters of employers indicated that their company offered some type of wellness program, resource, or service to their employees (SHRM2014) 
  • More than 9 in 10 organizations offer at least one wellness incentive (IFEBP, 2017) 
  • The most popular wellness programs are smoking cessation (91%), physical activities (86%), and weight management (79%) (Fidelity, 2017) 
  • In a year, one-third of organizations increased their overall benefits, mainly health (22%) and wellness (24%) benefits (SHRM, 2017) 
  • About 87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer (Forbes, 2013) 
  • More than 68% of employers prioritize well-being as a business objective (Shortlister, 2019)


Stress in the Workplace

  • 48% of employees are reporting that company-sponsored training has helped them the most to manage stress (Udemy, 2017) 
  • When it comes to their business and employee’s health, highstress levels are reported as the number one concern of almost half of all small-business owners (NSBA2012) 
  • 3 in 5 workers say they are burned out in their current job, and 31% of respondents report extremely elevated levels of stress at work (Career Builder2017) 
  • Due to stress-related absences, Canadian employers lose about $3.5 billion each year (WSPS, 2011)


How Employees Benefit From Wellness Programs

  • 70% of employees enrolled in wellness programs have reported higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled in the companies’ program (Aflac, 2019) 
  • Employees are more likely to recommend a company that supports well-being efforts as a good place to work (APA, 2016) 
  • Employee well-being is a vital part of business plans for 78% of employers (Virgin Pulse, 2017) 
  • 56% of employees had fewer sick days because of wellness programs (United Healthcare, 2018) 
  • Employee morale is cited as the most improved (54%) metric from implementing wellness plans (Hub International, 2017) 
  • 62% of participants in a wellness plan said that it helped them lower healthcare costs (PR Newswire, 2016) 
  • Wellness plans improve overall employee health behaviors (NCBI, 2012) 


Wellness Program Demographics and Participation

  • Women across all ages participate in wellness programs 38% more than men (WellRight, 2020)
  • Millennials participated in social challenges 48% more on average than age groups 40-plus (WellRight, 2020)
  • Baby boomers are 66% less likely to participate in challenges that require a fundamental change to their routine (WellRight, 2020)
  • Gen Xers are the most interested age group in learning about weight control (WellRight, 2020)


How Employers Benefit from Wellness Programs

  • For 25% of employers, the top goal of wellness benefits is increased productivity (Aflac, 2018) 
  • 63% of employers offering wellness programs reported increased financial sustainability and growth (IFEBP, 2017) 
  • Companies with highly effective health and wellness plans are 40% more likely to report better financial performance than low-effectiveness companies (Sun Life, 2012) 
  • Sixty percent of respondents reported that workplace wellness programs reduced their organization’s health care costs (US Chamber, 2016) 
  • Well-designed wellness programs lead to a return on investment (ROI) of $1.50 to $3 per dollar spent over a timeframe of two-to-nine years (US Chamber, 2016)  
  • For every dollar spent on wellness programs the company saves $5.82 in lower employee absenteeism costs (ISDH) 
  • About 77% of employees think that workplace wellness programs positively impact the company culture (Forbes, 2013) 
  • 59% of companies agree that workplace wellness programs can help reduce costs (NSBA, 2012) 
  • Companies with an employee engagement program enjoy 233% higher customer loyalty (Aberdeen Group, 2015)


Additional Employee Wellness Statistics

  • Campus bike-sharing programs, walking paths and adding healthy cafeteria menus are just some of the ways that 70% of employers have started to implement to encourage healthier behaviors (Willis Towers Watson) 
  • More than 9 in 10 workers say they feel more motivated at their job if their leaders support well-being efforts (APA, 2016) 
  • 61% of employees enrolled in their company’s wellness program have reported a healthier lifestyle change (Alfac, 2017) 
  • 87% of employees are expecting supportive employers for achieving work-life balance (PR Newswire, 2017) 
  • 63% of employees in pet-friendly workplaces have reported greater satisfaction with their work environment (PR Newswire2017) 
  • 78% of employees said that they would use their company gym if their employer had one (Treadmill Reviews)


Workplace wellness programs have a positive impact on organizations. Companies will enjoy a sizable return on investment, and workers will have greater satisfaction in their job.