Research on Workplace Wellness
Wellness programs are more than a perk. A majority of companies regard them as an effective way to address the rising trend of chronic diseases from diabetes to heart disease and the related costs that are draining their bottom line. Eighty percent of these diseases are lifestyle-related, experts say, and having a wellness program on-board that helps employees adopt healthier habits can significantly reduce illness, accidents, absences and medical claims. Increased productivity is an additional and hard-to-ignore benefit.
Amid soaring health spending, there is growing interest in workplace disease prevention and wellness programs to improve health and lower costs. In a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with such programs, we found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.
Higher nutrition knowledge is associated with better diet quality and lower blood pressure.
Wellness coaching has been shown to be significantly better than usual care in achieving: lower total cholesterol; lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol); lower blood pressure; lower body weight; reduced intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol; [and] increased regular walking habits.
Despite dire statistics, chronic conditions are often preventable and frequently manageable through early detection, diet and exercise – the cornerstones of workplace wellness programs.
The sheer volume of dietary information and program options competing for consumer attention is overwhelming. It’s easier for workers to tune out healthy eating strategies than to sort through countless, often contradictory choices. Employers promoting healthy eating need a compelling message to cut through the noise and inspire results.