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Part I: Colorado study examines worker wellness program

A recently published Colorado-based study looks at the degree to which small businesses in our state have embraced a worksite wellness program and how the program might benefit both employers and workers. The program was provided to them at no cost by workers’ compensation insurer Pinnacol.

Past research has suggested that efforts to improve employee health can benefit employers, who can see productivity increase while health care costs and workers’ comp costs decrease.

“Implementation of a Worksite Wellness Program Targeting Small Businesses: The Pinnacol Assurance Health Risk Management Study” was published in the January issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Researchers used the generally accepted standard of “small business”: it can have no more than 500 employees and revenues no greater than $7 million annually.

It is probably intuitive that a healthier employee would be less likely to sustain certain types of injuries. But as the recent study notes, “there is relatively little evidence” that reducing health risks and managing existing health conditions an employee might have “reduce the number and cost of work-related injuries.” That’s an area of study that needs more dedicated research.

The researchers also noted that U.S. small businesses trail small businesses in some other developed nations in offering wellness programs to employees, despite the perceived benefits of the programs.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at some of the interesting data researchers gathered in the Colorado study. Please check back with us. 

Until then, please remember that if you are being denied Colorado workers' comp benefits, you have the right to appeal that decision with the assistance of an attorney.

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