“Global Employee Health & Fitness Month” Highlights Need for Workplace Wellness Programs

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In conjunction with May’s “Global Employee Health & Fitness Month,” the Austin sports medicine team at Medicine in Motion presents compelling reasons for establishing health and wellness programs at the workplace.

Austin sports medicine

Austin sports medicine

Programs that focus on education of and engagement with employees on topics such as nutrition, stress management, physical fitness, and smoking can facilitate a healthier worksite.

Held every year during the month of May, Global Employee Health & Fitness Month promotes “the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to employers and their employees through worksite health promotion activities and environments.” Given that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have projected that the United States’ National Healthcare Expenditure will continue to rise and reach $5 trillion by 2022, worksite wellness has never been more important. According to the “Guide to Workplace Wellness” by Health Advocate™, some of the workplace costs related to having unhealthy employees include:

  •     Obesity-related conditions cost more than $13 billion each year in medical expenses and lost productivity.
  •     A typical smoker costs about $3,900 each year in medical expenses and lost productivity.
  •     Stress costs approximately $300 billion each year in medical expenses, lost productivity, missed work days, accidents and employee turnover.
  •     Diabetes costs 14 million disability days each year.
  •     Cardiovascular disease cost $142 billion in lost productivity in 2001.

As health care costs continue to rise for workplaces, many organizations are seeking ways to improve the health and wellness of their employees. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, increasing physical activity can:

  •     lower the risk of heart disease,
  •     lower the risk of stroke,
  •     lower the risk of high blood pressure,
  •     lower the risk of colon and breast cancers,
  •     help prevent weight gain,
  •     improve cardiovascular and muscular fitness strength,
  •     prevent falls,
  •     improve bone strength, and
  •     reduce symptoms of depression.

Programs that focus on education of and engagement with employees on topics such as nutrition, stress management, physical fitness, and smoking can facilitate a healthier worksite. A healthier workforce, in turn, can lead to higher productivity, fewer missed days, decreased health care costs, higher morale, and stronger retention rates – all of which will improve an organization’s bottom-line.

The 2010 “Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings” report revealed that for every dollar spent on wellness initiatives, medical expenses dropped by about $3.27, while the costs associated with missed days by employees decreased by about $2.73. This and other similar return-on-investment studies continue to collect evidence that offering workplace wellness programs makes an enormous impact on employee health and organizational savings.

Medicine in Motion (MIM) specializes in providing top quality sports medicine in Austin, Texas, for athletic individuals of all ages and levels. The staff at MIM believes active bodies are healthy bodies, therefore it is the office's goal to keep patients energetic and fit. To that end, MIM provides treatment of injuries and illnesses, including the use of physical rehabilitation; promotes healthy living with personal training and nutrition coaching; and offers comprehensive sports medicine evaluations to optimize health, activity level and sports performance. For more information or for questions regarding sports medicine in Austin, contact Medicine in Motion at 512-257-2500 or visit the website at http://www.medinmotion.com.

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Daniel Harvell
@MedinMotion
since: 11/2010
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