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The Benefits Of And Return On Employee Wellness Programs

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Wellness programs are an extremely important and beneficial part of workplace environments. According to a publication released by the The Wellness Council of America, “Comprehensive scientific …

Wellness programs are an extremely important and beneficial part of workplace environments. According to a publication released by the The Wellness Council of America, “Comprehensive scientific reviews identified 378 peer-reviewed studies showing that worksite health promotion programs improve health knowledge, health behaviors, and underlying health conditions.”

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  • 1. The Benefits of and Return onEmployee Wellness Programs
  • 2. Wellness Programs: An OverviewSo what are wellness programs anyway? Try searching for it in Google, and you will find a number of greatdefinitions and explanations. Here’s just one from a recent article in the Harvard Business Review: “an organized, employer-sponsored program that is designed to support employees (and, sometimes, their families) as they adopt and sustain behaviors that reduce health risks, improve quality of life, enhance personal effectiveness, and benefit the organization’s bottom line.” 1Wellness programs are an extremely important and beneficial part of workplace environments. According to apublication released by the The Wellness Council of America, “Comprehensive scientific reviews identified378 peer-reviewed studies showing that worksite health promotion programs improve health knowledge,health behaviors, and underlying health conditions.” 3Why Do Wellness Programs Exist?Simply put, unhealthy lifestyles can be expensive for employers. Having a healthy team can be important for anumber of reasons, but one big factor has to do with the costs associated with employing people who are not ashealthy as they could be. See the chart below for an illustration of the costs related to unhealthy lifestyles. Source: Making The Case For Workplace Wellness Programs. Rep. THE WELLNESS COUNCIL OF AMERICA.
  • 3. The Health Status Of The American Workforce The American workforce is not very healthy. In the last few decades, obesity rates have risen, physical inactivity has increased, and the chances of developing heart disease is greater among parts of the population. In addition, according to The Wellness Council of America : •Roughly 20 percent of the population smokes or use tobacco products. •Only 3 in 10 adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. •Physically inactive people are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease as regularly active people. “For an employer, costs can be as much as 40% higher in one year for someone who is overweight because of all the issues associated with obesity, including diabetes, back problems, asthma, depression and heart disease.”What Are The Benefits of and Return on Employee Wellness Programs? In order to prevent some of the problems that can occur as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle, employers and companies have invested in developing corporate wellness programs. Many have witnessed the return on their investment first hand. According to recent studies: •One company experienced a 30% reduction in employees classified as high-risk for chronic conditions, as well as an increase in people who work out. 2 •A study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health shows that organizations with highly effective wellness programs report significantly lower voluntary attrition than do those whose programs have low effectiveness (9% vs. 15%). 1 •Combined workplace health enhancement and risk management intervention strategies focused on lifestyle behavior change have been shown to yield a $3 to $6 ROI for each dollar invested in 2 to 5 years. 3 Corporate wellness programs can be an extremely useful tool when it comes to running a successful company or business. It’s important for those who are in leadership positions to consider the potential benefits of a wellness program, and the role such a program can have in the lives of valuable employees.
  • 4. Sources1 Berry, Leonard L., Ann M. Mirabito, and William B. Baun. "What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs? - Harvard Business Review." Harvard Business Review Case Studies, Articles, Books. Harvard Business Review, Dec. 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.2 Kennedy, Kelly. "To Cut Insurance Costs, Companies Help Workers Get Healthy." USA Today. Gannett Co. Inc., 29 Sept. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.3 Making The Case For Workplace Wellness Programs. Rep. THE WELLNESS COUNCIL OF AMERICA. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.Places To Visithttp://www.phsmobile.comhttp://blog.phsmobile.com/wordpress/http://www.facebook.com/PHSMobileHealthhttp://twitter.com/phsmobilehealthhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelkleinmanphs

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