More American workers recognize the rewards of participating in workplace wellness programs, according to the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index SM : American Workers. Sixty-two percent of workers, up from 55 percent 2011, believe workplace wellness activities are successful in improving health and reducing health risks. The index, which surveys American workers at growing businesses with 10-1,000 workers 1, is released by the Principal Financial Group ® and conducted by Harris Interactive ®. These findings focusing specifically on wellness attitudes and behaviors among American workers were taken from the fourth quarter 2012 Index. By taking advantage of workplace wellness offerings, American employees are approaching their work with more energy and motivation. Fifty-one percent of program participants feel wellness benefits encourage them to work harder and perform better, and another 59 percent of program participants say they have more energy to be productive at work as a result of their participation in employer-sponsored wellness programs. “As wellness programs become more established in the workplace, we are seeing a growing number of employees appreciate – and expect – that their employer offers these benefits,” said Lee Dukes, president of Principal Wellness Company, a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group. “In the wake of the financial crisis, which has left many companies stretched thin, maintaining a productive workforce is a priority for organizations.” Nearly half (45 percent) of employees agree that an employer-sponsored wellness program would encourage them to stay in their current employment situation, up from 40 percent 2011. Additionally, 43 percent of participants say wellness programs have led them to miss fewer days of work, up eight percent from 2011. Despite the apparent benefits, about a third (34 percent) of workers still do not participate in any of the wellness programs offered by their employers.