Today, 85% of U.S. companies provide their employees? health and fitness programs. Corporate fitness programs help alleviate the negative impacts of unhealthy employee behavior, such as obesity and smoking, on health care costs. Improving employee fitness is good for business.
Obese individuals spend more on both health care services and medication than daily smokers and heavy drinkers. They spend 77% more on medications. Only aging has a greater effect--and only on expenditures for medications. Source: RAND Corporation, 2005.
Obesity increases costs in the workplace. The annual per capita increase in medical expenditures and absenteeism associated with obesity ranges from $450 to $2,500 per obese employee. The estimated cost of obesity at a firm with 1,000 employees is about $285,000 per year. Source: IDEA Fitness Journal, January 2006.
Employees who increased their activity levels from 0-1 times per week to more than 3 times per week reduced their medical claims by an average of $2,202 per year. Source: Managed Care, 2004.
Employers who invest in worksite health promotion programs can see a return of $3-$6 for every dollar invested over a 2-5 year period. Documented savings are observed in medical costs, absenteeism, worker's comp claims, and short-term disability. Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, December 2005.
There are over 600 articles that analyze the research and anecdotal evidence of the cost-effectiveness of worksite wellness programs. In a review of 42 of these articles, there has been shown to be a 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism, 26% reduction in use of the health care benefit, and 30% reduced worker's comp claims and disability management. Source: The American Journal of Health Promotion, 2003.