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Ask The Expert – Wellness Programs

February 2017

Q: Should vision screenings be included in workplace wellness efforts?

A:  Workplace wellness programs are gaining in popularity. They are used as both incentives for employee retention and as cost-saving measures for employers. By keeping employees healthy and happy, the company has a lower absentee rate due to sickness or injury. When employees are healthy, there are fewer accidents, cutting down on workers’ compensation or disability claims. Wellness programs are proven to work. They can include anything that is important to the employee base, like nutrition guidelines, access to gyms/athletic clubs/yoga studios, stop smoking campaigns, blood pressure and BMI testing and eye care and vision screening.

Eye care is an important part of employee wellness. Most people don’t associate eye health with the rest of their bodies, but the eyes can be affected by other body issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes or medications taken for other conditions. We encourage employers to include eye screenings, visual acuity and glaucoma screening in their wellness plans. It will help catch any problems quickly and will provide the necessary support infrastructure for the employee. Once screened at work, employers should ask employees to take their assessment and information and make an appointment with their own eye doctor to further explore any implications found at the wellness screening.

Workplace wellness programs should be about the total employee, at work, home and play. Eye health is an important part of the complete package. I95

Seidenberg Protzko Assoc.