Unhealthy lifestyle choices cost U.S. companies billions of dollars each year. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, full-time workers in the U.S. who are overweight, obese, or have other chronic health conditions miss 450 million additional days of work each year compared with healthy workers, resulting in more than $150 billion in lost productivity annually. And considering that obesity rates among Americans have been steadily climbing since 2008, it’s time companies took an active role in employee health and wellness.
The link between employee health and productivity underscores the “bottom-line” approach employers should take when it comes to workplace health and wellness. Investing in programs that support healthy behaviors and provide the means for healthy lifestyle choices should be a key component of a long-term human asset management strategy — and this case study explains why.
In 2013, Cancer Treatment Centers of America partnered with EXOS to design, implement, and oversee a 12-week employee health and wellness pilot program. The objective was to positively impact the participants’ overall quality of life through light stretching and exercise programs, nutrition consultations, and wellness education. EXOS measured 10 monetized risk factors among the participants during the 12-week program:
- Physical activity
- Movement quality
- Fasting blood sugar
- Diet quality
- Blood pressure
Participants experienced significant improvements across all areas, suggesting that a corporate wellness program may be able to reduce bottom-line losses stemming from absenteeism, workers’ compensation, and other health-related issues.
In 2014, CTCA appointed Health at Work Wellness Actuaries to complete a review of its wellness plan, including the EXOS pilot program. The result: the third-party audit concluded that the EXOS pilot program was not only highly effective from an employee wellness standpoint but also generated a positive return on investment in year one.