In 2009, a study conducted by the California Centre for Public Health Advocacy stated that a lack of physical activeness, dropping standard of health awareness, and obesity at the workplace has caused $12.3 billion annually in 2006.
This loss was resulted from a series of actions such as low productivity, long absence, limited work functionality at the job, etc. To address these expenses and losses, organizations have partnered up with Health Wellness Centers to provide lucrative programs for their employees. Let’s discuss them −
Insurance coverage for comprehensive tobacco cessation programs costs between $1.20 and $4.80 per member annually, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Legacy Foundation reported that for each member who will quit smoking, the cost to the organization is going to reduce by $1800 annually!
In addition to smoking injuring the smoker, it also causes second-hand passive smoking hazards for the other people around him, not to mention numerous accidental fires that careless employees have started because of snubbing their cigarette butts in the washrooms of their offices.
Through biometric screening, many aspects such as body obesity, blood pressure and other risk factors can be successfully ascertained which will help in saving lower medical and life insurance claims. Rough calculation says that this will result in an annual saving for the company to the tune of $192 minimum, which can even accumulate around to $1000 annually over a 5-year period of time.
The Michigan Fitness Foundation also carried out a similar research and came up with report that a fitness ratio of just 1:20 is sufficient to supplement the required salary of 15,400 new Michigan employees.
However, for smooth flow of the plan, it is necessary to open onsite fitness centers round the required area. An additional step like aiding the fees of gym, or creating incentives towards healthcare will definitely create eagerness among the employees.
If we see the loss figure more closely, then around 20% of it will be attributed to work stress itself. Work stress is the biggest reason behind all animosities such as high job turnovers, stoppage in workflow, long absence and repeated strikes.
Among the above, 55% of the strikes are accounted due to stress and most of them are related to attend family issues. The only way to stop this is through Stress Management Program. Delnor community bears the success message of implementing this as it managed to reduce the absence figure by 8% saving around $800,000 in 2 years.
Weight loss is another factor that should always take the central stage in all Employee Wellness Programs. These may be diabetics, low heart functionality and upping the chance of physical disabilities. After conducting several studies, Fitness experts have concluded that overweight employees are not only going to experience more health related difficulties, but are also going to lower the productivity of other employees. For example, if an employee is absent, his teammates might feel dejected and not operate at top levels.
It has also been depicted that a normal and healthy employee is 3 times less likely to be on absenteeism as compared to an overweight employee. Even if an overweight employee marks his presence, he may not be able to function to his full capacity. A typical successful weight loss program should be designed in a way to fit the busy life schedule.
The weight loss program should include a healthy diet and regular exercise program. A correct and regular approach of the above said can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other obesity-related conditions up to maximum extent by changing the levels of fitness and approach to lifestyle.
Research shows that even a modest weight loss of around 5-15% can yield eyebrow raising results. On the other hand, those who want additional health assistance, internet can serve as a good medium by providing sufficient E-Health articles to supplement the knowledge of the employees on keeping a good health profile.
Another personal health recording electronic form, popularly known as PHR, is helpful in maintaining and organizing all important information related to health. This information can contain a list of medications and history of pre-medical checkups, all organized at a single place.
Employees can share this information with their practitioners. By doing so, one can reduce his time and money on repeating various procedures and can save a good amount of money.
Surveys are now coming with facts that people are ready for the change with the technology. The Markle foundation has come up with following facts on people’s view on PHR −
70% are optimistic about the positive effect of PHR on their health profile.
75% are ready to exchange this information with their doctors.
69% will use PHR to track their medication.
A careful observation on the interest level of people on accessing health information online has revealed the following information −
Looking at such encouraging figures, nearly 100,000 new health related apps have been developed recently. These apps not only help in providing health information but also track the health-wise progress of the employees. People can even share their exercise tips, hospital information, diet plans, etc. Moreover, these tools are designed to provide people with trustworthy information.