states workplace wellness

Can Workplace Wellness Pick Up Where States Are Dropping?

New data from Gallup indicates that not only is well-being dropping in several U.S. states, but also “for the first time in nine years of tracking changes in state well-being, no state saw statistically significant improvement from the year before.”

The report highlights how much effort is still needed in the workplace, as individual health habits continue to falter.

Among the areas the survey examines include: “Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily” and “Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals.”

States Set Records

As Gallup notes, new negative well-being records are being set — exactly at the time one would expect well-being to soar.

Gallup: “The 21 U.S. states that saw their well-being drop in 2017 shattered the previous record set in 2009 amidst the Great Recession, when 15 states had lower well-being than the year before. The large number of states with declines in well-being in 2017 is particularly notable given that Americans’ confidence in the economy and perceptions of the job market are substantially better in 2017 than they were in 2009.”

Importantly, well-run workplace wellness are designed to address many of the areas where the survey notes increased problems. Gallup notes that “any of the states showing declines in their well-being scores worsened on the same set of well-being metrics.” These include:

  • An increase in clinical diagnoses of depression
  • Elevated reports of daily physical pain
  • A decline in having “someone who encourages you to be healthy”
  • A decrease in those who have a leader in their life who makes them “enthusiastic about the future”
  • A decline in the percentage who report that they are reaching their goals

And the report ties the results to positive efforts the can occur in the workplace.

“This is a trend state and business leaders should monitor because… workers with higher well-being are significantly less likely to experience unplanned absenteeism, perform better while at work and have lower healthcare utilization than their counterparts.”