A Business Case for Health/Wellness

Should companies care about the health and wellness of their employees?

Alere Wellbeing  recently presented a webinar hosted by Dr. Ron Goetzel of Emory University and Thomson Reuters, discussing the cost of health and productivity-related expenditures that employers face, the role obesity plays in creating or exacerbating these conditions, and how employers can support obese and overweight employees.

Here are a few highlights:

U.S. Health Expenditure as a Percentage of GDP: 

-1970: 7.2% 

-2011: 17.7% 

Projected annual growth for healthcare expense is 5.8% until 2020 

*Keehan et al. Health Affairs. 30:8. August 2011

 According to Ken Thorpe, while approximately 37% of the rise in annual healthcare expense can be attributed to innovation and advances in technology, 63% is attributed to increased disease prevalence.  An estimated 27% of these costs are associated with obesity. 

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  If you improve the health and well being of your employees: 

  1. Quality of life improves 

  2. Health care utilization is reduced 

  3. Disability is controlled 

  4. Productivity is enhanced through both attendance as well as presenteeism

    In short, healthy people get more done.  Without even factoring in reduced medical expense to the firm, employee morale, productivity, presenteeism, attendance and in turn, organizational effectiveness, all increase.  It pays to care about the health of your employees.

     Does your company invest in your health/well-being?  If so, how?  

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