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Benefits of Wellness Programs

Benefits of Wellness Programs
Keir Elias Torkkola
Western Governors University
#433106

Wellness programs have increasingly gained momentum since the turn of the century and as employers start to see the positives those programs have started to become a staple of most businesses today. Since most employers pay for their employees health insurance it makes a lot of sense for companies to start taking a bigger interest in their employees wellbeing. Implementing a wellness program to fit a specific work environment can increase productivity and reduce absenteeism if employees are engaged and participating in the program. It is no secret the obesity problem facing many americans today and data shows if employees invest enough time in their programs they can reduce and eliminate their own obesity problems. Lastly the cost of health care is an enormous expense facing every company who offer those benefits and one of the main reasons wellness programs started was purely financial. If a company can design the right wellness program and continually tweak and tinker it to the needs of their employees their return on investment will be well worth the initial time and money spent. Measuring the costs of lost productivity and absenteeism can be hard to calculate but once an effective method has been established the results will be quite eye opening. Reliable studies have shown how unhealthy behaviors and illness can cost companies dearly, one such study conducted in 2002 found that at the Dow Chemical Company the cost of lost productivity due to health factors was just under 7% of their total labor costs. (Shultz,Chen, & Edington,2009) . This figure came from a survey conducted by their own employees so one can infer the actual percentage may be higher than what was reported. Many health problems effecting productivity can be countered by incorporating stress management into a wellness program. Those who may

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