Employee wellness – a concept long embraced by employers as a linchpin of increasing workplace productivity and decreasing health care costs – is undergoing a makeover.

"More and more employers are understanding wellness as a three-legged stool — physical, mental and financial," says Freeman, vice president of St. Louis-based Four Seasons Financial Education (FSFE), which provides workplace financial wellness tools.

Workplace wellness programs have, in their nearly three-decade history, addressed physical and mental health through lifestyle and disease management. According to some estimates, today's wellness industry is worth around $6 billion. And 78 percent of employers offered some form of wellness benefit last year, according to the Society of Human Resource Management.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.