Employee Wellness Matters, Statistics Show

When encouraging companies in your geographic area to partner with your club for their employee health and wellness needs, consider using these statistics to bolster your point:

• $1 of every $5 spent on health care in the United States is spent on caring for people with diabetes. Yet, people who increase their physical activity (to two or more hours per week) and had a 5 percent to 7 percent weight loss reduced their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.

• If the United States had just a 5 percent reduction in the number of Americans with hypertension, the U.S. health care system would save $25 billion in five years.

• On average, annual health care costs are $2,000 higher for smokers than for non-smokers, $1,400 more for those who are obese vs. those who are of a healthy weight, and $6,600 more for people with diabetes than for those without the disease.

• During a three-year period, medical costs and costs associated with employee absenteeism are reduced by $2 to $3 for every $1 spent on workplace fitness and wellness programs.

• Indirect costs to employers of employee poor health—e.g., lower productivity, higher rates of disability, higher rates of injury and more workers’ compensation claims—can be two to three times the costs of direct medical expenses.

Source: The National Prevention Council (www.healthcare.gov/prevention/nphpphc), 2010.

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