About Workplace Wellness

About Workplace Wellness

Chronic diseases related to unhealthy food options, tobacco products and lack of physical activity are one of the biggest drains on our nation’s economy. — The Prevention Institute

man serving coffee

A worksite wellness program is designed to support employee health and encourage positive lifestyle behaviors such as increased physical activity, healthy eating, reduced tobacco exposure and reduced stress.

A healthy, motivated employee is vitally important to a workplace as a whole and has a significant impact on an employer’s bottom line. A worksite wellness program can help employers manage the cost of health care, benefits and insurance by providing a positive ROI. The annual return on investment for worksite wellness programs is $3-$6 saved for every $1 spent after about 2 to 5 years.

Working adults in the United States comprise 65 percent of the population ages 16 years and older. Members of this population group spend at least half of their waking hours in the workplace. Because a majority of adults spend much of their lives at work, it is an environment with significant potential to influence health and prevent disease.

Workers’ health affects the profitability of American companies in other significant ways. Poor health of employees is correlated with a 51 percent decrease in overall productivity, with lost employee productivity due to health issues costing companies an estimated $225.8 billion annually, or $1,685 per employee per year.

In addition to costs associated with reduced productivity, the health status of American employees has a significant impact on the overall cost of health expenditures in the U.S. Employer-sponsored health insurance is the leading source of health coverage, insuring 149 million Americans, or nearly 3 out of 5 nonelderly adults. The cost of this coverage continues to increase even though employees paid more toward premiums in 2012, in many cases for less comprehensive coverage. According to the 14th Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research and Educational Trust (Kaiser/HRET) Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, average annual premiums in 2012 were $5,615 for single coverage and $15,745 for family coverage.

Updated Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 09:23AM