The 5 Best Reasons to Have a Wellness Program: Benefits of Wellness

1) Wellness Programs Improve Employee Health Behaviors

The core of every good wellness program is behavior change. With the right education, skills, motivation, tools, and social support, people change behaviors.  Wellness programs are good at helping people adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.  This is perhaps the biggest benefit of having a wellness program.

2) Wellness Programs Reduce Elevated Health Risks

The foundation of any good wellness program must be focused on helping employees adopt healthy behaviors. Elevated blood glucose, high blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure are almost all caused by unhealthy diets and lack of physical activity. Eating and exercising are behaviors.

3) Wellness Programs Reduce Health Care Costs

There are almost 100 different studies that have looked at the financial impact of wellness programs. Comprehensive worksite wellness programs that improve employee behaviors will see a bending of the healthcare cost trend. Most often they will discover that the savings from program participation will be greater than the actual cost of the program. Almost every one of these return on investment (ROI) studies show a positive return on investment. Researchers from Harvard recently published another summary of the wellness ROI research.

4) Wellness Programs Improve Productivity

Poor employee productivity can be defined as physically being at work but not working. This type of poor productivity is called presenteeism. It is estimated that the cost associated with presenteeism due to poor employee health is at least 2 to 3 times greater than direct health care expenses.

5) Wellness Programs Can Decrease Absenteeism

There are over 50 papers that have looked at the connections between worksite wellness programs and reduced absenteeism. Worksites with comprehensive wellness programs can experience reduced absenteeism for a variety of reasons:

1. Employees with good health behaviors have lower absenteeism

2. Employees who can control their stress have lower absenteeism

3. Employees with healthy blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose have lower absenteeism.

4. Employees who are not overweight or obese have lower absenteeism