3.6.18: Employee Wellness – Stats to Track
Employers, consider your wellness program. Unlike all the other benefits your worksite offers, wellness programs have been studied for decades. There are hundreds and hundreds of rigorous scientific evaluations of the impact of wellness programs, resulting in tons of workplace wellness statistics. There is more research on the impact of wellness programs than anything else your company does.
But after decades of scientists evaluating programs, we have an enormous amount of very solid statistical evidence that show the benefits of having a wellness program. These studies are what wellness program experts and consultants use to create this list of workplace wellness statistics every employer should know.
- Wellness Programs Improve Employee Health Behaviors
The core of every good wellness program is behavior change. With the right education, skills, motivation, skills/tools, and social support, people change behaviors. Wellness programs are good at helping people adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of having a wellness program. Healthy behaviors lead to lower health risks, and lower health risks lead to less chronic disease.
- Wellness Programs Reduce Elevated Health Risks
Elevated blood glucose, high blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure are almost all caused by unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity. Eating and exercising are behaviors. Workplace wellness statistics showed that in as little as six weeks health risks could improve dramatically. Those who maintain healthy behaviors experience lower health risks for six weeks, six months, 12 months, and even out to 18 months after this program began.
- Wellness Programs Reduce Health Care Costs
The ability of a wellness program to reduce healthcare costs depends upon how effective the program really is. Having an occasional lunch and learn about nutrition or just doing a biometric screening will not be enough to move the healthcare cost needle. Comprehensive worksite wellness programs that improve employee behaviors will see a bending of the healthcare cost trend. Most often they will discover that the savings from program participation will be greater than the actual cost of the program. Almost every one of these return on investment (ROI) studies show a positive return on investment.
- Wellness Programs Improve Productivity
Poor employee productivity can be defined as physically being at work but not working. This type of poor productivity is called presenteeism. It is estimated that the cost associated with presenteeism due to poor employee health is at least 2 to 3 times greater than direct health care expenses. While the estimated cost of presenteeism dwarfs the cost of healthcare, it does not receive the same level of scrutiny among employers preoccupied with controlling the direct costs of poor employee health. There are a lot of reasons why employees have low productivity. They may not know how to use the equipment, they may be distracted by other employees, they may not know what they are doing, they may be tired, or they might be on Facebook. One of the main causes of presenteeism is poor health. These results confirm several ideas about the benefits of wellness. Presenteeism is associated with poor health behaviors as well as elevated health risks and the presence of chronic disease. Wellness programs that focus on helping employees have good health behaviors will eventually have an impact on productivity.
- Wellness Programs Can Decrease Absenteeism
Worksites with comprehensive wellness programs can experience reduced absenteeism for a variety of reasons:
- Employees with good health behaviors have lower absenteeism
- Employees who can control their stress have lower absenteeism
- Employees with healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose have lower absenteeism.
- Employees who are not overweight or obese have lower absenteeism
Any wellness program that can reduce absenteeism will experience cost savings. Harvard researchers looked at the ROI of wellness programs as they relate absenteeism and demonstrated that for every dollar wellness programs spend on wellness they can save $2.73 and reduce absenteeism.
The Flashfit app can easily integrate with and improve your existing employee wellness program. With hundreds of fast and fun one-minute exercises that don’t require any special equipment, your employees can get moving right in your office. And Flashfit will track and measure all employee all activity, so your organization can reach your wellness goals and work healthy. https://www.flash.fit
Sources: Wellstep, Health Affairs