A number of studies have pointed to the potential benefits of workplace wellness programs — from increased gym use to decreased health care spending. But what wasn't clear was whether wellness programs are really making people healthier, or whether healthier people are more likely to enroll in them. A new study suggests it's the latter.

Long before this insight was revealed by science, it was reflected in an episode of "The Office," of all places. And the lesson learned might be applied to all sorts of other preventive health measures, from vitamin supplements to diet and exercise trends.

That TV series wasn't about health or science, but it did deal in the idiosyncratic nature of human behavior, and this matters a lot in medical studies — especially ones involving preventive health.