Corporate Stats of Wellness and Fitness

Intangible Benefits of Worksite Health Promotion:

Health promotion literature also documents the value of worksite wellness programs in other important aspects:

  • Improvements in employee morale
  • Increased employee loyalty
  • Less organizational conflict
  • More productive work force
  • Improved employee decision-making ability

Proof Positive: An Analysis of the Cost-Effectiveness of Worksite Wellness, Summex Health Management, 2005

“Worksites are the key to helping Americans adopt and maintain healthy behaviors because they are the only segment of our society that can actually make money by promoting healthy behaviors. Better stated, it’s not that they will make money so much as they will lose less. Worksites that implement wellness programs will pay less for health care.” Steven Aldana, PHD, Welcoa’s Absolute Advantage, April 2008

Despite a downward business cycle, employers remain staunchly in support of their wellness program and disease management program. Eighty-four percent of health plans and employers offer one or more wellness programs and 91%will do so within a year. As reported from a market survey in 2008 by DMAA, a disease management trade organization.

Work health promotion programs can have positive effects on employee’s health and productivity – including more than a 20% reduction in sick leave. Recent research showed meaningful improvement in several key measures such as reduced emotional exhaustion and burnout and improvements in mental health. The study showed that exercise programs seemed to increase overall and mental well-being and work ability while reducing absenteeism. Work health promotion programs that use a variety of approaches – targeting lifestyles, work tasks, health and safety issues and work environments – help improve employee health. Work Health Promotion, Job Well-Being, and Sickness Absences – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, November 2008

Companies with an effective health and productivity program:

  • Yield more revenue
  • Have a higher market share
  • Deliver higher share holder return
  • Have lower costs in LTD, STD, and general health care coverage

Source: National Business Group on Health Watson Wyatt, “Stay at Work” 2007/2008 Survey of 355 Large Employers

Wellness programs are attracting more workers and not just from large companies. Organizations with less than 1,000 employees had a 79% participation rate in on-site health screenings in 2006 up from 68% in 2005. What’s more, 60% of workers took advantage of fitness facilities offered by their companies in 2006, compared to 38% in 2005. Another 65% of workers created a personalized health program to address high-risk conditions last year, up from 45% in 2005.
Slightly more than half of employees feel a wellness program strengthens their loyalty to the company and motivates them to work harder and better. Sixty-one percent of workers believe employer-sponsored wellness programs can fight against escalating health care costs. Reduced personal health care costs are one of the reasons 38% of employees would be willing to sign up for a wellness program. 2007 Survey conducted by Harris Interactive and the Principal Financial Group as reported in Employee Benefit News, February 2007

Adults need at least 250 minutes per week — equal to 50 minutes of exercise five days a week — to lose significant weight according to the 2009 recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine. The ACSM recommends that adults participate in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent significant weight gain. Overweight and obese adults, however, are more likely to reach their goals with at least 250 minutes. The report also recommends strength training as part of the exercise regimen, in order to increase fat-free mass and further reduce health risks.
The recommendations were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009.

Stress Related Studies:

In the study The Cost of Poor Sleep: Workplace Productivity Loss and Associated Costs researchers found that fatigued related productivity losses were estimated to cost $1967 per employee per year. Reported in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 2010
Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress. American Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2008
The results of a recent Caremark study identified fatigue as a major problem with the U.S. work force and one with a major impact on productivity and costs. 29,000 employees were interviewed and 38% said they experienced fatigue – more common in women and employees under 50. The study looked at the effects on absenteeism and presenteeism. It suggested that companies offer work life programs to help employees balance work and personal responsibilities and to focus on interventions with a large subgroup of employees with fatigue issues. American Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, January 2007 press
Insomnia costs employers about 4.4 days of wages per untreated individual over a six-month period – not including money spent on indirect costs, such as lost productivity and costs to treat the medical consequences of insomnia SLEEP, Vol. 30, No. 3, 2007

Fitness and Exercise:

On average, health care claims costs for IBM employees who exercised one or two times a week are $350 a year less than those who don’t exercise at all, a figure which is predicted to drop as low as $500. Joyce Young, IBM’s Well-Being Director, in BenefitNews.com, 2006
A recent study of 200 people at three major corporations revealed that employees’ quality of life, mental performance, and time management were better on days that they exercise by 15%. Ace Fitness Matters, Jan/Feb 2006
A recent study showed that corporate fitness center participation was associated with 1.3 days fewer short-term disability claims per year per employee than non-participants and fewer health risks. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, April 2006