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Employee Assistance Programs enhance corporate wellness with brain training

Companies turn to brain games to tackle work stress (Fortune):

“As more and more jobs rely on knowledge work, creativity, and communication skills, it’s not enough to have workers sitting at their desks — they must also be mentally sharp, emotionally present, and free from distraction. The answer for some: brain training.

The fun, game atmosphere of My Brain Solutions helped Nationwide achieve another goal: making the employee assistance program more appealing and stigma-free. While overall EAP use at Nationwide was at 7.7% in 2007 — already higher than that year’s industry average of 4% — after introducing My Brain Solutions in 2009, EAP use skyrocketed to 18.4% in 2011.

My Brain Solutions contributed to greater effectiveness of the broader wellness offerings, Herath says. For instance, Nationwide’s percentage of obese and overweight workers has declined between 2010 and 2012.

“In 2012, for the first time more than 70% of the population is low risk. Our high-risk population is at an all time low of 7%,” says Herath. “This is a great mechanism to do by itself. It’s a great mechanism to do with counseling. There are applications to it that run across the gamut from our most healthy to our most critical.”

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters, and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm and think tank tracking health and performance applications of brain science.