Rising Health-Care Costs Fuel Demand for Corporate Wellness Services

More business owners are investing in corporate wellness, a market that continues to show strong growth, according to a recent report. Over the next five years, corporate wellness industry revenue is forecast to grow by 8.4 percent annually.

More business owners are investing in corporate wellness, a market that continues to show strong growth, according to a recent report, "Corporate Wellness Services in the U.S.," by IBISWorld. Over the next five years, corporate wellness industry revenue is forecast to grow by 8.4 percent annually to $12.1 billion.

Fitness facility operators could benefit from that growth. Seventy-nine percent of companies with lifestyle management programs are providing nutritional and weight counseling, and 72 percent are offering fitness-related services. IBISWorld forecast that nutrition/weight management could account for about 17.4 percent of industry revenue, and fitness-related services may comprise about 15.9 percent.

"Typically, corporate wellness companies may help businesses develop on-site fitness facilities that garner a high rate of employee participation," the report states. "In addition, some corporate wellness companies may use their large size as leverage to secure low-cost gym memberships, effectively passing these cost savings to businesses in the form of lower prices for subsidized employee gym memberships."

IBISWorld healthcare analyst Sarah Turk, the author of the report, said, "Businesses are realizing that they can have a high return on investment for disease management services, with each dollar allocated toward these programs resulting in a $3.80 ROI."

Seventy-two percent of employers purchased screening services to identify employees' health risks or intervention services to promote healthy lifestyle choices, according to RAND, a research corporation. For example, companies are collecting employees' biometric data, such as their height, weight, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, so they can target high-risk employees for intervention programs.

A recent study from Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health found that employers will pay each employee an average of $693 this year as an incentive to participate in wellness programs. That's an increase from $430 five years ago. The report also found that 47 percent of employees participate in the wellness programs that their employers offer.

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