Employers are increasingly offering benefits that promote health and wellness in 2012, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, which was released Monday at its 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition in Atlanta.

In fact, 45 percent of respondents now offer health and lifestyle coaching, an increase from 33 percent in 2008. Another 35 percent of respondents provide rewards or bonuses for completing a health and wellness program, marking a jump from 23 percent in 2008.  

"Employers recognize that providing employees with the opportunity to improve their health can increase morale, confidence and productivity," says Mark J. Schmit, vice president of research at SHRM. "Organizations continue to look for ways to manage costs as the economy slowly improves. Benefits that encourage healthier behavior are a cost-effective way to keep up employee morale while healthier employees also help decrease health care costs to employers and employees."

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