Why Invest in Corporate Wellness Programs

There are over 600 articles that analyze the research and anecdotal evidence of the cost-effectiveness of worksite wellness programs. In a review of 42 of these articles, there has been shown to be a:

  • 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism
  • 26% reduction in the use of the health care benefit
  • 30% reduced worker’s comp claims and disability management
  • Reduced presenteeism losses

(Larry Chapman, “Meta-evaluation of Worksite Health Promotion Economic Return Studies”, the American Journal of Health Promotion, 2003)

Employers who invest in worksite health promotion programs can see a return of $3-$6 for every dollar invested over a 2-5 year period. Documented savings are observed in medical costs, absenteeism, workers comp claims, short-term disability and presenteeism (lower on-the-job efficiency due to employee health problems.)
(American Journal of Preventable Medicine, December 2005)

Here are some specific employee wellness statistics you may find interesting:

  • With only 60% participation, Coca-Cola found that they saved $500 per year per employee with their program.
  • According to a 2004 Ipsos-Reid employee wellness statistics study, the main preventable causes of employee absences are mental health (anxiety/depression), stress and a negative relationship with a manager or supervisor.
  • Prudential Insurance’s employee wellness statistics show that their benefit cost per employee enrolled in their wellness program is $312, but the same benefit is $574 per non-enrolled employee.
  • On average, health care claim costs for IBM employees who exercise 1-2 times a week are $350 a year less than those who don’t exercise at all.
  • Coors Brewing Co.’s employee wellness statistics indicate that they save $5.50 per $1 spent on wellness; participant absenteeism drops by 18%.

In the 1990’s the United Nations dubbed stress “the 20th Century Disease.” With the help of employee wellness programs and the data provided by employee wellness statistics, hopefully we can change that in the 21st century!

4 Key Benefits
Decreased healthcare costs
Decreased Absenteeism
Increased Productivity
Decreased stress

U.S. healthcare costs doubled from 1990 to 2001 and are projected to double by 2012 (Partnerships for Prevention, www.prevent.ort)

Nearly 60% of all companies and 95% of large companies have programs designed to encourage individuals to take some responsibility for their health.

Four of the ten most costly health conditions affecting employers are related to heart disease and stroke. Employees with heart disease and heart disease risk factors cost employers thousands of dollars more than healthy employees each year through higher insurance. (Goetzel, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)

In fact, most people are shocked to find out that Starbucks Coffee spends more money on health care costs than they do on coffee, and General Motors spends more on health care costs than they do on steel!
Herrick D.,
“Why Employee – Based Health Insurance is Unraveling,”
National Center for Policy Analysis, November 1, 2005

The nation spends $7,129 per-person on healthcare each year.
USA Today
October 16, 2006 Preventable illness makes up 70% of the burden of illness and its associated expenses.

The New England Journal of Medicine
Over 95% of our nations expenditures are committed to diagnosing and treating disease only after it becomes manifested.

Partnership for Prevention
America marks up 4% of the world’s population and spends 50% of all the money on medical care worldwide.

World Health Organization
The United States is currently ranked 37th in the world health.

World Health Organization