Why invest in workplace wellness and health promotion?

Now more than ever the need to invest in chronic disease prevention is at the forefront of many government agencies and large organisations to reduce the future risk of unhealthy workers and communities.  With the prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and some cancers increasing, workplaces, community organisations and industry need to work together to  provide practical, sustainable and cost effective solutions to prevent and delay chronic disease and improve quality of life, productivity and time lost to injury.

Utilising a captive audience such as a workplace, community organisation or industry body, can enable cost efficiencies and innovation in delivering chronic disease prevention initiatives.

According to the Health and Productivity Institute of Australia [1], working to improve health outcomes in the workplace can lead to benefits for employers and employees.

Benefits for employers include:

  • Improved productivity, employee engagement and staff morale
  • Increased attraction and retention of staff
  • Reduced sickness-related absenteeism
  • Reduced presenteeism (health-related work impairment)
  • Reduced workplace injury and workers compensation costs
  • Improved employee relations and corporate image

Benefits for employees include:

  • Improved health awareness and knowledge
  • Improved physical and mental wellbeing and resilience
  • Increased energy, vitality, work enjoyment and fulfilment
  • Improved concentration and productivity

It makes good economic sense
An analysis of the cost effectiveness of worksite wellness programs [2] found that for every $1 invested in employee wellbeing, the company saved $5.81 in future costs. It makes good economic sense to invest in prevention and early intervention to decrease not only the risk of  reduced productivity, but also the financial burden into the future.

[1] www.hapia.com.au
[2]Chapman, L.S. (2007) Proof Positive. An Analysis of the Cost Effectiveness of Worksite Wellness. Seattle, WA: Chapman Institute.