Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Healthy Employees Can Result in a Healthy Bottom Line

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Healthy Employees Can Result in a Healthy Bottom Line

Article excerpt

Health promotion programs of large corporations are often the most visible, but small businesses have the most to gain from savings achieved by having a healthier workforce.

According to William M. Kizer, founding chairman of Wellness Councils of America, "for small business owners who often measure profits in thousands -- not millions -- of dollars, the net effect of an employee wellness program could mean the difference between profit and loss."

Tangible benefits of healthier employees include: * Improved productivity. * Reduced sick leave/absenteeism. * Reduced use of health benefits. * Reduced workers' compensation. * Reduced injury experience. * Lower turnover Add to these benefits the more intangible perks -- improved employee morale, more employee loyalty and better employee decision making -- and companies have the potential to improve their bottom line dramatically. When business owners share the bounty with employees through bonuses or incentives, the overall improvement is even greater. Two areas that offer great potential for reduced costs are smoking cessation and weight control. Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society. This lethal habit is responsible for nearly one in five deaths in the U.S. While most people know by now that smoking is linked to cancer and cardiovascular disease, it also greatly affects the daily efficiency of American workers. For instance: * One-third of all employees are smokers. * Smokers are involved in twice as many accidents as non-smokers. * Smokers average 2.2 extra sick days per year. * Heavy smokers are hospitalized 150 percent as often as non- smokers. * Smoking reduces mental efficiency by as much as 23 percent. * Smokers spend from one to 15 minutes per hour exclusively with their habit. Experts estimate smoking employees cost companies about $1,100 each year in extra healthcare utilization costs, additional workers compensation and other accident insurance, extra life insurance and early disability payments, higher absenteeism and lost productivity. An employer may pay $80 to $125 to enroll each employee who wishes to quit in a smoking cessation program. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.