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Integrating Effective Health and Wellness Strategies in the Workplace

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Did you know that wellness programs have been shown to reduce sick leave by 25%? Did you know that 98% of large firms and 73% of small firms offer at least one wellness program?  Eastern Kentucky University created the infographic below to show American employees' most common health issues, the impact of sick leave on companies, and the positive effects of company-sponsored wellness programs. 

Integrating effective health and wellness strategies in the workplace.  The need for health and wellness in the workplace.  Number of employees with a health risks.  49.8% of American (117 million) have at least 1 of 10 common chronic conditions, including: hypertension, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, asthma, weak or failing kidneys, COPD.  24.3% of Americans have 1 of these chronic conditions.  13.8% of American have 2 of these chronic conditions.  11.7% of American have 3 of these chronic conditions.  Most common chronic health conditions: Arthritis 22.7% of all Americans, Heart Disease 11.4% of all Americans, Diabetes 9.1% of all Americans, and Cancer 8.4% of all Americans.  Health and workplace productivity.  93% of business leaders report that employee health has a very significant impact on productivity.   Productivity losses linked to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 Billion annually in the United States.  That’s $1,685 per employee.  Top 5 organizational priorities influenced by employee health: Productivity 62%, Performance 60%, Employee Engagement or Morale 41%, Benefit Cost Reduction 30%, Safety 29%.  Firms with 1-99 employees pay for sick leave $0.18 an hour for each employee.  Firms with 100+ employees pay for sick leave $0.37 an hour for each employee.  High worker’s compensation costs have been shown to be related to individual health risks including smoking, poor physical health, physical inactivity and life dissatisfaction.  Importance of health and wellness in the workplace.  Americans spend much of their time at work: 8 hours a day x 5 times a week = 40 hours a week x 50 weeks a year = 2,000 hours a year = 83 days a year.  60% of Americans feel stress about work.  46% of Americans feel stress about personal health concerns.  42% of U.S. respondents have left a job due to an overly stressful environment.  35% consider changing jobs.  Health and wellness programs.  98% of large firms offer at least one wellness program.  73% of small firms offer at least one wellness program.  Most common wellness offerings for large and small firms respectively: Flu Shots 87% / 52%, Employee Assistance Programs 79% / 27%, Web-Based Resources for Healthy Living 77% / 38%, Smoking Cessation Programs 64% / 26%, Gym Membership Discounts or On-Site Exercise Facilities 64% / 26%, Wellness Newsletters 60% / 33%, Lifestyle or Behavioral Coaching 58% / 22%, Biometric Screening 51% / 26%, Weight Loss Programs 48% / 18%, Classes in Nutrition / Healthy Living 47% / 18%.  Encouraging employee participation in wellness programs.  Employee reasons for not participating: 69% believe they are able to make wellness changes on their own, 56% do not have enough time to participate, 53% do not need to because they are already healthy, 43% report the program was not conveniently located. 43% do not know enough about the program, 33% suspect their employers would learn their personal health information.  Wellness incentives.  Financial incentives are associated with a significant increase in employee participation in wellness programs overall, by about 20 percentage points.  19% of firms give out a financial incentive for employees to participate in wellness programs.  Large firms are more likely to give out financial incentives than small firms (36% vs. 18%).  The most common financial incentive is gift cards, travel, merchandise, or cash (14%).  Results of wellness programs.  Impact of health and wellness programs.  Health Outcomes: smoking rates have been shown to drop more than 7%, overweight or obese employees lost at least 5% of their weight, comprehensive programs reduced disability by 14% over two years.  Absenteeism: wellness programs have been shown to reduce sick leave by 25%, absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, 87% of savings were attributable to programs that focus on reducing complications and health care utilization for individuals with already diagnosed conditions.  Costs: Average monthly health care costs were reduced by about $30 per member, medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, lifestyle management wellness programs (e.g., promoting exercise or better nutrition) accounted for 13% of health care savings.  Employee Satisfaction: 87% of employees agree that wellness programs positively impact company culture, 88% of employees cited workplace wellness programs as important when deciding on an employer, the top three offerings employees want are physical activity programs (72.4%), healthy on-site food choices (65.5%), and on-site gym and fitness classes (62.3%).  Examples from the real world.  Navistar: Wellness programs at Navistar have helped over half of participants lose weight and 45% quit smoking.  From 1999 to 2012, Navistar employees reduced their on-site injury rate by nearly 82%.  Colgate: Employees logged over 18.7 million minutes of healthy activity a month as part of their Live Better wellness program.  19,700 out of Colgate’s 37,700 employees met their fitness goal of 500 minutes a month.  Johnson & Johnson: Johnson & Johnson’s leaders estimate that wellness programs saved the company $250 million cumulatively on health care costs from 2000 to 2010.  From 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.

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