Poor lifestyle choices. We are all guilty of them to varying degrees. Whether it be skipping gym after a rough day or indulging in one too many donuts at the office, these decisions add up and, with 60% of Americans receiving health insurance from their employers1, have pervasive effects in workplace.
A Vicious Cycle: Employee Health in the Workplace
Poor lifestyle choices cause 70-90% of chronic disease2. This statistic is exemplified in the workplace where sedentary lifestyles and high stress are an essential part of the daily 9 to 5.
Employers are faced with an epidemic of chronic disease in the workplace with dyslipidemia and hypertension, striking 29% and 20% of employees3 respectively. This epidemic is costing employees heavy sums as chronic diseases drive 75% of healthcare costs2.
In addition to rising expenses, poor lifestyle choices are holding back businesses, creating a loss of potential revenue and growth. Absenteeism increases as unhealthy employees are more prone to sickness and injury. Employees are also less engaged in their work as a recent study found that poor lifestyle habits and health risks are strong predictors of disengagement in the work place4.
When putting this all together, it can be seen that employers and business owners are caught in a vicious cycle generating rising health care expenses and business losses.
How do we break this cycle? By improving employee health through the implementation of a Corporate Wellness program.
Breaking the Cycle: The Cost Savings of Employee Health and Wellness
Employee health is large problem with expensive consequences. Oddly enough, however, the solution is simple. A Corporate Wellness Program can effectively promote healthy lifestyle choices.
The best Corporate Wellness Programs offer access to fun and exciting exercise and recreational opportunities creating employees who are healthy, happy, and more productive! Additionally, Corporate Wellness Programs have been found reduce turnover, absenteeism, and health care costs1.
For every dollar spent on implementing a Corporate Wellness Program, businesses save $2.73 in absence day costs and $3.27 in health care costs1. Exercise, in particular, has been shown to have monumental effects in reducing healthcare costs as recent study cited that two and half hours of weekly exercise can reduce yearly healthcare costs by $1,000-$2,0005.
Corporate Wellness facilitates and encourages healthy habits. Whether it be through providing healthy catered lunches every Friday or offering discounted access to the yoga studio across the street, improving employee health through Corporate Wellness is not only valuable but necessary as it decreases costs, increases revenue, and, above all, improves the health and wellbeing of the individuals that make up your business.
In the next chapter we will explore a less cited, but equally as valuable benefit of Corporate Wellness: Improving employee engagement and productivity.
- Baicker, K., et al. “Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings.” Health Affairs, vol. 29, no. 2, 2010, pp. 304–311., doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0626.
- Merrill, R., et al. “Presenteeism according to healthy behaviors, physical health, and work environment.” Population Health Management, vol 15, no. 5, 2012, pp. 293-301.,doi: 10.1089/pop.2012.0003.
- Carlson, S., et al. “Inadequate physical activity and health care expenditures in the United States.” Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, vol 57, no. 4, 2015, pp.315-323., doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2014.08.002.