August 2010

25 Aug 2010

Sustainable Wellness Saves Your Company More than the Cost of Health Care

The University of Michigan published a unique study that reported a substantial return when a company invests in corporate wellness.  What set this study apart from the rest was that it considered all costs involved with implementing a long-term employee wellness program, such as menu changes, employee recruiting, and marketing.

For the nine year study, researchers at the U of M followed a midwestern utility company and discovered a net savings of close to $5 million after offering a corporate wellness program that not only aimed to take care of sick employees, but also kept the rest of the employees and their families healthy and on the job.

According to Alyssa Shultz, research area specialist intermediate, the midwestern company spent $7.3 million on their wellness program over the nine years.  After determining various medical and pharmaceutical costs and employee time off, Shultz reported a savings of $12.1 million.

“One of the advantages of the study is it shows that a sustainable program will give you savings,” stated Dee Edington, a research scientist in the University of Michigan school of Public Health.

11 Aug 2010

Arm Your Team to Win the Battle of the Bulge

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services challenged our country with a national health objective called “Healthy People 2010”.  The goal was to reduce obesity to 15% of the entire population for each of the 50 states.

Results were bleak: not one state in the country was able to meet the challenge.  Mississippi weighed in heaviest at 34.4%.  Only two states, Colorado and Washington D.C., had rates below 20%.  Even bleaker, the results were self-reported which has shown that participants typically overstate their height and understate their weight.

The report says that the price tag on our collective obesity issue has reached a hefty $147 billion dollars a year.  The director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dr. Thomas Frieden, noted that not only did every state fail to reach their target, but that nationwide “obesity rates have doubled in adults and tripled in children” over the past few decades.

Fearsome numbers to say the least, and they draw a bright red line from your company to corporate health promotion.  Why?  Increased national obesity means increased death and illness from related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Any company that offers health insurance as a health benefit is directly affected by that $147 billion price tag.

There are numerous benefits of corporate wellness, including providing on-site foot soldiers in the war against obesity that know how to produce sophisticated, effective programs, results, and education.  Workplace wellness boosts employee morale, reduces stress and directly influences your company’s retention and talent pool.

It’s a war you need to win.  Arm your company accordingly.