Advantages Of Wellness Programs
America is facing an epidemic and scientists have been monitoring it for four decades. It’s affecting 75% of all Americans who are either overweight or obese (Wang, 2007). It is making the people sick, affecting their performance, and it is increasing the healthcare expenses. Many factors contribute to this epidemic, and one of the major reasons relates to lifestyle choices. Research suggests corporations should adopt a wellness program because it provides a great return on investment, corporate healthcare expenses are reduced, and it enables employees to be healthier and more productive.
What is the problem
In 2007 studies showed 66% of Americans being overweight. The study predicted 75% of …show more content…
The study, published by Rand Corp. (Auerbach, 2011), summarized this by comparing healthcare related costs from 1999 to costs in 2009. The findings from this study showed a family had $95 more in disposable income in 2009 versus 1999 when they should have had $450 more if healthcare costs were not outpacing the CPI. This is nearly a $5000 annual reduction in disposable income per family due to increasing healthcare expenses; these rising expenses also impacted the costs incurred by employers. The table below shows a breakdown of different expenses categorized per month for both the employer and employee over a period of ten years (Auerbach D., …show more content…
No hard rule defines what a wellness program must be. Subsequently, it could range from a simple gym membership to an all incumbent program to track health conditions through on-site medical clinics, health screenings using blood samples, fitness classes, and offering healthcare discounts based on participation in programs to perform weekly activities such as walking a defined number of steps per day. In addition to weight management, wellness programs can assist with stress, diet, fitness, and overall happiness or well-being (The wellness effect, 2016).
Return on Investment in Wellness Programs
Two-thirds of financial officers interviewed by HERO agree that it is wise for corporations to implement wellness programs and (HERO, 2015). The collective knowledge, experience, wisdom, and employee skills are a valuable organizational asset. For this reason, business leaders consider the investment in wellness programs not simply a cost management strategy, but an investment in human capital. A survey done by the HERO group found 57% of business leaders agreed with investment in human capital. (HERO, 2015 page 17).
It makes logical sense for employers to use the time that employees are in the office to provide wellness assistance because employees spend a large amount of their day in an office and more than 60% of