Encouraging health and well-being among your workers makes good business sense! Studies have shown that healthier workers are more productive, have less absenteeism, and have lower health care costs.
As a nation, we are facing a lot of health challenges. We know that our national health care costs are high and getting higher every year, creating burdens for businesses and workers alike. The U.S. spends more than twice the average of other developed countries, yet despite our high spending, the United States ranks last among other industrialized countries in preventable deaths, and experts estimate that the vast majority of our health spending (95 cents of every dollar in 2008) is devoted to addressing problems after they have already occurred.
The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that at least 50% of illness is related to lifestyle choices. That's actually good news because it gives us lots of potential to make a difference! In fact, a 2004 article in the Lancet medical journal estimated that we could reduce 90% of heart disease, our number one killer, through lifestyle changes.
In North Carolina, risk factors like obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices have an enormous economic impact. A 2008 study estimated that the direct and indirect cost of eight risk factors (including excess weight, physical inactivity, type II diabetes, low fruit/vegetable intake, hypertension, high cholesterol, depression and tobacco use) for North Carolina adults was $57.36 billion. Of that, $42.62 billion were related to lost productivity. To put this in perspective, the entire annual budget of North Carolina in 2008 was $41.5 billion.
Well-designed worksite wellness programs make a difference. A study published in Health Affairs in 2010 found that for every dollar spent on worksite wellness programs, medical costs fell by $3.27, and absentee day costs fell by $2.73. That's a big return on investment!
Julie Alexander, Founder of Core Health Partners, leverages her years of experience in clinical care, program design, and coaching to offer customized wellness solutions for your business. Wherever you are, Julie can help you move your workplace, and the people who make it great, in a healthier direction. Please contact Julie for more information about how we can partner with you in building the wellness of your work community.