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Employee programs that combine lifestyle and financial wellness benefits may yield healthier, less-stressed workers, Prudential study finds

Prudential Wellness Programs Census (Photo: Business Wire)

NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Employers who provide traditional health and wellness offerings alongside financial wellness benefits are likely to reap the benefits of a healthier workforce. Research unveiled by Prudential Financial, Inc. ( NYSE: PRU ) at the Aspen Ideas: Health festival suggests a connection between the use by employees of both benefit types and improved physical and mental health, based on self-reported outcomes. Prudential’s study found that respondents who take advantage of these benefits programs are more likely than others to report lower levels of stress, as well as better physical and mental health.

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Prudential’s report, “ The Interplay Between Health & Financial Wellness Benefits ” is based on a survey of 2,000 Americans employed by organizations that offer wellness benefits like gym memberships, fitness and diet advice, and smoking cessation programs. The report builds on findings from the academic community that show even small changes in socioeconomic position can impact health risk, with incremental increases in income associated with improved health.

“Workplace health and financial wellness programs can make a positive difference in the lives of American workers,” said Judy Dougherty, Prudential’s chief financial wellness officer. “Financial and physical health are often intertwined, and employers who provide help on both fronts stand a greater chance of achieving better outcomes for their employees.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Users of workplace health wellness benefits are more likely to be healthy than non-users. Forty-five percent of users report themselves to be in good physical health, versus 37% of non-users.
  • Both health and financial wellness programs correlate with better mental health. Fifty-nine percent of workers who use health wellness programs consider their overall mental health “good,” as do 59% of those using financial wellness programs. Those numbers fall to 53% for those who don’t use health wellness programs and 55% for those who don’t use financial wellness programs.
  • Non-users of financial wellness programs report feeling highly stressed compared to users. Just 13% of workers using financial wellness programs say they have high overall levels of stress, versus 17% of non-users.
  • Employees have an appetite for financial wellness programs. Nearly a third of workers expressed a desire for financial education classes, online financial management tools, digital financial advice and planning, accrued wage advances, low interest loans, and debt consolidation/payment programs.

“These findings mirror our experience providing financial and health wellness programs for our almost 50,000 employees,” said Lucien Alziari, Prudential’s chief human resources officer. “We have seen firsthand how financially well employees become more effective employees, less burdened at home and at work by the stress financial struggles can cause. As a company, we know that understanding the needs, challenges and desires of our employees makes us stronger, more attractive to new talent, and improves the productivity of our workforce.”

For more information, view the full report, “ The Interplay Between Health & Financial Wellness Benefits .”

About Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial, Inc. ( NYSE: PRU ), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of March 31, 2019, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit news.prudential.com .

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