Obesity and smoking are the two top causes of preventable death in the United States. Beyond the given anti-smoking initiatives, corporate weight loss programs are taking the wellness world by storm. In 2012, over 60 percent of Wellness Programs in the United States explicitly focus on weight loss and fitness. A Harvard Business School Study found that workplace wellness programs could generate savings. Incredibly, medical costs fall about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absentee day costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent. With health care expenditures soaring, Total HR Management believes that workplace-based health promotion is becoming a key means of fighting obesity and lowering healthcare costs.
Wellness Programs & Corporate America
Corporate wellness programs focusing on weight loss are so popular because the vast of majority of recent studies on employee productivity and healthcare costs demonstrate a strong link between a ‘well’ workforce and your bottom line. A perfect example of a program that utilizes the healthy workforce strategy is Tangerine Wellness. The program focuses on corporate weight-management and motivates healthy behavior through employee rewards for weight loss and maintenance. Structured with a system of checks, points, and pre-paid cards, the Tangerine program is intended to get workers to their ideal weight for peak health and performance.
Demonstrating the need for employee weight-management and wellness programs, an October 2010 study by Duke University found the approximate “cost of obesity to be approximately $73.1 billion a year among full-time U.S. employees.” The study metrics involved employee work related absenteeism and medical expenses. Associate research professor of global health at the Duke Global Health Institute Eric Finkelstein told the paper, “These findings point to the need to identify cost-effective strategies that employers can offer to reduce obesity rates and costs for employees and families.” Total HR Managements has seen that investing in wellness programs focused on weight loss can stem the greater cost of employee obesity and the resulting healthcare expenses.
Wellness Programs Equal Better Performance
Focusing his company’s Tangerine Wellness Program on performance incentives, Chairman and CEO of Tangerine Wellness Aaron Day noted, “We’re offering employers the opportunity to pay for performance and results right now.” He added that the weight management program is simple to initiate, simple to follow through with, and has typical participation rates of over 50 percent. The key is to have the proper positive incentives that motivate the employees to take action. Total HR Management believes that Wellness Programs focusing on weight loss will become the standard in the future not just for corporations. Small to mid-sized companies also will use weight loss programs to help increase productivity and cut healthcare costs.