Worksite Wellness Works
Research using meta-analysis has now confirmed that for every dollar spent on wellness programs a company will save between 3.48–$5.82. $3.27 can be saved on medical interventions while a saving of $2.73 per dollar invested can be saved in reducing absenteeism. With this kind of return on investment (ROI) businesses of all sizes must seriously consider worksite wellness programs, if for no other reasons than economic ones.
Recent research indicates the smaller the business the greater the healthcare cost per individual, that smaller businesses spend less money on wellness programs than larger businesses might, and that social interactions have a tremendous effect on behavior. For example, if a coworker quits smoking, it increases the likelihood that another co-worker will quit by 34%. If a close friend is obese, your chances of becoming obese increase by 57%. With the alarming increase in obesity in our country it is imperative that businesses of all sizes do everything they can to change the behavior of their workers. At present the average annual rate growth for insurance premiums is 10.4%. That means by the year 2020 it will cost a company $45,288 for healthcare coverage per family. Wages over the same period are expected to increase by only 2%. These numbers are unsustainable. At present Iowa spends over $780 million per year on health care. People want to change. Forty-two percent of individuals polled say they are willing to change without any financial incentives from their employers. All they need is that knowledge/information/programs be made available to them.