Americans who have resolved to lose weight or kick the tobacco habit in 2007 may consider turning to an unexpected, but useful resource to help them stay on track – their employer.

According to the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Inc. (AAOHN), worksite wellness programs, including weight management and tobacco cessation initiatives, have proved successful in helping U.S. employees stay healthy while also benefiting employers’ bottom lines.

In a survey commissioned by the AAOHN in 2004, workplace weight management programs were found play a large role in helping employees achieve weight loss. Nearly half of all respondents who claimed to participate in workplace weight-management programs reported success in reaching and maintaining their long-term goals.

Among factors employees contributed to their weight management success were workplace support groups, guidance from onsite professionals such as occupational and environmental health nurses, accessibility of onsite physical activity classes, healthier food selections in company cafeterias, and employer incentives for reaching weight loss goals.