Incentives, Program Configuration, and Employee Uptake of Workplace Wellness Programs

J Occup Environ Med. 2016 Jan;58(1):30-4. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000613.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of wellness program configurations and financial incentives on employee participation rate.

Methods: We analyze a nationally representative survey on workplace wellness programs from 407 employers using cluster analysis and multivariable regression analysis.

Results: Employers who offer incentives and provide a comprehensive set of program offerings have higher participation rates. The effect of incentives differs by program configuration, with the strongest effect found for comprehensive and prevention-focused programs. Among intervention-focused programs, incentives are not associated with higher participation.

Conclusions: Wellness programs can be grouped into distinct configurations, which have different workplace health focuses. Although monetary incentives can be effective in improving employee participation, the magnitude and significance of the effect is greater for some program configurations than others.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion / economics
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Occupational Health* / economics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace