Workplace Wellness: Healthy Employees Cost Companies Less
Vice President, Sustainability and CSR, Sodexo
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and chronic pulmonary conditions are becoming a huge economic burden in the U.S. Earlier onset of chronic disease and its development in more working-aged adults has caused a decline in the overall health and quality of life of employees, resulting in days away from work and subpar job performance. Adding to the burden is the cost of treating chronic disease—estimated to account for about 75% of national healthcare expenditures.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the top four behaviors that contribute to chronic disease in the U.S.: poor nutrition, physical inactivity, frequent alcohol consumption and tobacco use. To improve the overall quality of life of employees as well as curb the costs of rising health care, many employers are instituting workplace wellness programs to help employees adopt healthier lifestyles. The good news is that Rand Corporation’s 2014 research shows that more than half of U.S. employers with 50 or more employees offer workplace wellness programs.