Workplace Wellness Programs

Employers can save as much as $15 for every dollar spent on wellness after launching a workplace wellness program, according to a policy statement released by the American Heart Association (AHA).

The AHA says wellness programs are a proven strategy to reduce costs and improve productivity.

“Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a program,” said Mercedes Carnethon, an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the paper. “Beyond cost savings and increased productivity, visionary employers are realizing the value of an employee's total health. An effective worksite wellness program can attract exceptional employees, enhance morale and reduce organizational conflict.”

The AHA is encouraging more employers to adopt wellness programs.

“We are making great strides in workplace wellness but we also know that half of employees don't have access to these programs, mainly because they work in small companies or for employers that have a small number of employees at multiple sites,” said Carnethon. “We are hoping this paper shows employers large and small the benefits these programs may provide to both their employees and their bottom line.”

The paper also outlines the following as the keys to a successful wellness program.

  • Tobacco cessation and prevention,
  • Regular physical activity,
  • Stress management/reduction,
  • Early detection/screening,
  • Nutrition education and promotion,
  • Weight management,
  • Disease management,
  • Cardiovascular disease education, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training, and
  • Changes in the work environment to encourage healthy behaviors and promote occupational safety and health.

Corporate and personal wellness programs are a growing trend.  As mentioned here, organizations such as the American Heart Association are seeing the need and value of such.

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