10 statistics that make the case for workplace wellness programs

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report titled Winning with Wellness earlier this year that not only makes the case for the business value of workplace wellness programs, but also provides guidance on running an effective one.

10 key statistics on wellness programs cited in the report:

  1. More than one-third of Americans are overweight or obese. (p. 3)
  2. As of 2012, 117 million Americans had one or more chronic illnesses, which account for 75 percent of all healthcare costs in the U.S. (p. 3)
  3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 86 million Americans have prediabetes, and less than 10 percent of them are aware of their condition. (p. 3)
  4. Top two chronic health conditions driving health-related costs for employers were depression and obesity, research showed. (p. 3)
  5. Employees who scored low on “life satisfaction” stayed home from work 1.25 more days per month than those with higher scores, adding up to about 15 additional days off per year. (p. 15)
  6. Approximately 80 percent of people are not ready to take action to change their health behaviors at any given time, according to management research. (p. 9)
  7. If an individual does the following five things, they typically spend 33 percent to 50 percent less on healthcare costs: Walking 30 minutes per day, eating healthy, not smoking, having a waist size less than half their height, drinking alcohol only in moderation (p. 3)
  8. 87 percent of employers are committed to workplace wellness and 73 percent offer a wellness program, according to a survey. (p. 4)
  9. In a survey, more than 60 percent of employers said workplace wellness programs reduced their organizations’ healthcare costs. (p. 15)
  10. Studies show that well-designed wellness programs have a return on investment of $1.50 to $3 per dollar spent over a two- to nine-year timeframe. (p. 16)

See the full "Winning with Wellness" report for full citations of the research these statistics were drawn from as well as case studies and details on how you can design your wellness program for maximum effectiveness.

For creative workplace wellness program ideas, download SFM’s Wellness in the workplace CompTalk .

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