An increasing number of Utah companies, realizing that their employees are their greatest assets, are helping the employees improve and maintain good health.

That's the finding of a Utah Department of Health study released Thursday during a luncheon at the Fort Douglas Country Club commemorating Utah Worksite Health Promotion Day, which is Friday.The study found that 46 percent of Utah companies have offered health promotion activities for their employees in the past five years, and 76.4 percent of these companies are providing on-going programs today.

For nearly all of these companies 93 percent concern for the well-being of their employees was the most important reason for offering such programs.

Other reasons included increased productivity (reported by 64 percent of firms); decreased health care costs (reported by 57 percent) and increased employee morale (reported by 42 percent).

The health programs, according to the report, have paid off in both financial and human rewards.

Ten companies that have maintained on-going employee health programs were honored at the luncheon, sponsored by Premier Medical Network.

Recipients of the Governor's Health Promotion Site Award for 1987 included Smith Administrators, Industrial Supply Co., Sandy City Corp., Fitness Institute of LDS Hospital, Northwest Pipeline Corp. and Unisys Corp.

Also honored were Weber County Health Center, Ogden City Fire Department, Salt Lake City Fire Department and Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

Each of the employers was recognized for having an active health promotion program with high participation rates among their employees.

To receive the award, their programs were reviewed by members of the Industrial Fitness Subcommittee of the Governor's Council on Health and Physical Fitness.

Programs must have been designed from a safety standpoint, must have required individual evaluation and screening of participants, and must have maintained records on participation.

They also must have offered health enhancement programs such as nutrition, stress management and substance abuse counseling.

A luncheon highlight involved presentations from employees from each firm selected because they had attained particularly impressive personal benefits from participating in the employer's program.