Just one-third (32 per cent) of Canadian employers have a formalized wellness program, according to a new survey by the Conference Board of Canada.

While workplace wellness initiatives have become more prevalent over the last decade, nearly half (48 per cent) of employers that responded to the survey said they take an informal approach. A further 20 per cent said they have no wellness program at all.

Read: Carleton University recognized as wellness pioneer for decade-long health programming

“Healthy workplaces consider employee well-being broadly and consider aspects of employees’ physical, psychological and social health,” said Allison Cowan, director of total rewards and workplace health research at the Conference Board of Canada, in a news release. “Investing in a comprehensive health and wellness program is an essential part of a healthy work environment and makes good business sense.”

The survey found that healthy workplaces take a broad approach to wellness beyond issues of physical health, not only because employers want to be responsible, but because mental-health issues like anxiety and depression are too expensive to ignore.

The rise in workplace wellness programs is mainly coming from an increase in the private sector, the survey found, while numbers regarding public sector programs have held steady since 2009.

Read: Leading employers offer up solutions to workplace wellness, communications challenges

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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