For years, employers have struggled with the idea of wellness programs. Many have concluded that they are too expensive or just don’t work, because employees will do what they want during off time. According to the latest studies, an inactive employee will cost as much as $1,500 more per year than an active employee. Twenty-seven percent of medical claims can be related to inactivity, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC report encourages employers who are serious about lowering health care costs to stress a more active life style in their employees. The CDC research says that a $1.00 investment in physical activity leads to a $3.20 medical cost savings.
According to an article in the St. Louis Business Journal, “employee absenteeism is reduced when wellness programs are implemented. In a study at Prudential Insurance, disability days were 20 percent lower and disability-per-capita costs were 32 percent lower after implementing a wellness program. In addition, annual medical costs fell by 46 percent.”
Wellness Benefits for Employees
- Weight reduction
- Improved stamina
- Lower stress levels
- Increased self image
Wellness Benefits for Employers
- Reduced absenteeism by 32% on average
- Reduced health care costs by 30% on average
- Increased productivity by 52%
- Happier workforce
- Connected and energized workforce
If you don’t want to have a formal program, you can start by communicating and encouraging behaviors that lead to wellness.
- Use the stairs
- Walk to lunch
- Remove the candy machines (offer healthy alternative)
- Take walks every night
- Join a city league sports team
- Stretch before you start work
- Drink a glass of water
By providing support and communication, you will have a healthier work force.