Friday, April 06, 2007

Wellness Programs Boost Physical Fiscal Health

Wellness programs can prevent injuries in the workplace ...

"In an article in the November/December 2006 issue of the North Carolina Medical Journal, Ron Goetzel and Ronald Ozminkowski conclude that wellness programs “not only improve worker health and well-being but also produce bottom line effects.”
Goetzel, Ph.D., and Ozminkowski, Ph.D. – director and associate director, respectively, of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at Cornell University – present six “hypotheses” to support their assertion that employers should invest in wellness programs.

• Their hypotheses are listed below:

• Many diseases and disorders that affect workers are preventable.

• Modifiable health risk factors are precursors to a large number of these diseases and disorders.

• Many modifiable health risk factors tend to increase employer health care costs and hamper worker productivity.

• Workplace wellness programs can positively influence workers' health risks.

• Improvements in the health risk profile of a worker population can reduce health care costs and absenteeism and improve productivity.

• Workplace wellness programs, when effectively designed and implemented, can bring about a positive a return on investment (ROI).

The authors acknowledge that there also are “legitimate and powerful reasons why some employers have been reticent to spend money” on wellness programs. Typically, the authors note, these reasons are associated with employers' reluctance to barge into their workers' private lives.

Even so, Goetzel and Ozminkowski state that the “economic business case in support of [wellness] appears incontrovertible."    (Continued via Occupational Hazards)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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