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Why You Should Care about Employee Health and Wellness

Jeff Daniels

Jeff Daniels

improving employee health and wellnessIn a company, your most valuable asset is your workers. This means employee health and wellness should be at the top of your list when building a culture for your business. Not only does it help with productivity, it helps with lowering costs for healthcare. To put this into perspective, the expenses private businesses pay for healthcare are 40% of before-tax profit and 58% of after-tax profit. Between 1990 and 2001, the healthcare costs in America doubled, and was projected to double again by 2012. If you’re looking for a way to reduce healthcare expenses in your company, you should focus on improving the health of your employees using an employee wellness program.

Traditional Methods for Controlling Health Care Costs

Previously, the way employers controlled healthcare costs was to reduce the amount of benefits, increase contributions from employees and shift to consumer-driven health insurance plans. However, these are short-term fixes that don’t always pan out. Instead, employers should look to the root of the problem, which are the poor health habits of the American lifestyle.

Raising Awareness Around Employee Health and Wellness

The problems with the health of Americans today are a lack of education and a lack of motivation to improve their lifestyle choices. Health awareness brought about by employee wellness programs could help prevent the onset of health conditions or even reverse some existing conditions. Here is a look into how poorly our health is in America:

• 65% of Americans are overweight or obese

• 5% of Americans don’t exercise or exercise a little

• 70% of Americans die because of a preventable chronic illness

Promoting Health Prevention in the Workplace

poor employee health and wellness absenteeismA lot of physicians and pharmaceutical companies don’t focus on preventing conditions, but instead on treating conditions after they appear. Since there’s no outside help with this matter, it only makes sense for employers to step in with an employee health and wellness program. By doing so, you could witness the following benefits:

• 27.8% reduction in sick leave

• 33.5% reduction in disability costs

• 33.5% reduction in worker’s compensation costs

• 28.7% reduction in health care costs

• Save $5.50 per dollar you invest in health care

Research suggests disabilities, absenteeism and other indirect costs of poor healthcare are two to three times higher than medical costs. Instead of focusing your efforts on medical care, consider using employee health and wellness programs to lower healthcare costs and reduce expenses related to poor employee health.

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