Health Promotion: Investment in Corporate Fitness, Wellness Pays Big Dividends

High rates of staff member turnover and the costs of sick days are increasingly taking bites into corporate profits.  The high cost of recruitment programs only adds to the challenges that these problems in sum cost the typical business.

Many organizations are finding the solution to these challenges by increasing job satisfaction, team building, and the implementation of wellness programs that yield a reduction in these costs.

It has become increasingly clear to most managers that a well designed health promotion program with a strong nutritional and fitness lifestyle emphasis will directly meet this need.

Management’s goals for a productive health promotion program must be viewed through the perspective of increased worker productivity, lowered absenteeism because of health related causes, improved worker morale, lowered utilisation of employer subsidised health benefits, enhanced team cohesion and effectiveness and a decrease in turnover because of lack of job satisfaction.

It is obvious that an improvement in any of these areas will have a positive impact on the financial status of any organisation.

The benefits from an personnel point of view can be seen in improved health, increased energy levels, reduced body fat, a more youthful fit body, an increased ability to handle job related stress, greater feelings of confidence and morale and more social connections at work contributing to greater feelings of satisfaction with their work and workplace.

To be most productive a health promotion program needs to achieve both managements and staff members objectives, and this may be accomplished through a health promotion program that’ll provide the individual staff member with an awareness of their current physical condition and attitudes to fitness and wellness, and the advantages of attaining a fitter, healthier lifestyle, and a plan that’ll allow them to achieve the necessary changes to their physical condition that may be applied in the context of their life and work.

The Bottom Line – Wellness Programs

Decreased Absenteeism – Dupont reduced absenteeism by 47.5% over six years for the participants of their employee fitness program, (Health Behaviour, March 1992).

Decreased Health Care Costs – Steel case showed a reduction in medical claim costs of 55 percent for employee exercise program participants over non-participants over a six year period – an average of $478.61 for participants versus non-participants who averaged $868.88, (The Am. Journal of Wellness, Sept/Oct, 1991).

Decreased Turnover – Turnover among fitness program participants at the Canadian Life Assurance Corporation was 32.4 percent lower over a seven year period compared with non-participants (Canadian Journal of Public Health, Jan/Feb, 1988).

Positive Return on Investment – BC/BS  of Indiana found that its employee fitness program had a 250 percent return on investment; $2.51 for every $1 invested over a five year period (American Journal of Wellness, March, April, 1991).