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Web-based wellness program offered by Somerset Business Partnership

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A web-based workplace wellness program is being offered free of charge to its member employers during 2014 by the Somerset County Business Partnership.

Employees will be able to go online, complete a brief health assessment, and then be guided to resources to help them address health issues such as smoking cessation and weight loss. The goal is to provide small and mid-size businesses information and resources necessary to reduce costs, decrease employee turnover, and improve productivity.

Donna Zaleski, co-chair of the partnership Workplace Wellness Committee, said the web tool is private and confidential. She said only the individual will have access to their own personal information.

Employers will get a statistic overview of the health concerns of their employees as a group. For example, "if 20 employees say they smoke, it may mean the company should provide a smoking cessation program," Zaleski said.

"(The program) is really empowering to the individual, because it is nonthreatening and confidential, but it is also useful to employers because it helps them to be very specific in what they might offer," she said.

For example, if the majority of the workers are dealing with an overweight issue, it might prompt the employer to offer an on-site weight loss program.

Through the program, employees will be able to determine opportunities and methods for improving personal health and productivity at work an in their private lives. The software will allow employees to capture health metrics, track progress and improvements, organize health histories, and receive personalized recommendations and solutions from virtual coaches.

Zaleski, who is the director of fund development at the Carrier Clinic, said the program points employers to "things they can do to support their employees and have them become healthier. That is s ultimately the goal: we are building a healthier community."

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