More and more companies are realizing how important it is to ensure that their employees get and stay healthy. It is now reported that three out of every five employers now offer some type of corporate wellness program. The reason behind this popular movement is that when a corporate wellness program is properly integrated into a business, employee health and productivity will improve. This is also an effective way for companies to retain their top performing employees. If an employee is happy and healthy, they will likely enjoy their job a lot more.
Poor employee health is not only harmful for the employee, but it can also cost companies money in increased insurance rates. Current studies show that one in two adults have been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. With obesity rates on the rise, it is now estimated that two out of three adults are currently in the category of being overweight or obese. These are statistics that can cause any employer to be concerned about the state of their employees. To help combat these frightening statistics, many companies have come to realize the importance of offering incentives to help their employees become healthier.
The rising costs of healthcare are another reason why many companies are leaning towards corporate wellness programs. Currently, 25 – 30% of medical costs paid by companies are spent on the treatment of employees who have major risk factors. The most common of these risks are cigarette smoking, obesity, and diabetes. These risk factors often lead to productivity losses caused by health related issues. These productivity losses cost companies an estimated $225.8 billion each year.
The three major health risks that pose the highest threat to employers are:
- Obesity – Employees who are considered obese can cost an employer between $1,850 – $5,500 more in health related costs than an employee who is considered to be within the average weight for their age and height. Companies lose an average of $4.3 billion each year due to obesity related absenteeism.
- Tobacco – Employees who smoke miss an average of 6.2 days of work each year, compared to non-smokers who only miss an average of 3.9 days each year. The annual cost of an employee who smokes to employers is an estimated $96 billion.
- Diabetes – Employees who have been diagnosed with diabetes cost an employer an average of $13,243 each year. This number is staggering when compared to what an employee who doesn’t have diabetes costs on average each year, a mere $2,560.
When a company integrates a corporate wellness program, they can expect to see a lower amount of sick leave taken by their employees. They will also notice that their health care costs drop on average 26%. Their worker’s compensation and disability management costs drop on average of 30% annually. Employees who are offered the option of participating in a corporate wellness program tend to be happier in their work environment and more loyal to their employer. This loyalty pays off in less time missed, and more dedication to their job.