Last month I discussed some common lies and myths about corporate wellness. This article is about the importance of corporate wellness. Opportunity in corporate wellness is everywhere, and I want to provide you with the ammunition you need to take advantage of this growing industry.

American employers lose over 300 billion dollars of productivity annually due to illness, sick days, absenteeism and sub-par performance (“presenteeism”).

For every dollar an employer spends on salaries and wages, they spend a minimum of an additional 10 cents on health insurance and workers compensation costs. This is above and beyond the unintentional and often
unrecognized costs noted above.

Why is wellness important in the corporate environment? Why should employers be concerned about their employees’ wellness?

The average employee misses 8.4 days annually due to illness or injury, totaling over $63 billion nationwide. The employee with a serious or chronic condition (diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, cancer, etc.) misses 72 days annually, and works at diminished capacity when present. Nationwide, over 2.5 billion work days are reduced or lost completely. Do you think this is the kind of workforce employers intended to employ? Do you think they budgeted for this reduction in productivity?

Everyone gets sick from time to time, right? Maybe so; maybe no. Even the common cold is subject to a person’s immune system letting it occur, so if some employees are in stellar health, they may well not miss a single day or even be under the weather for years at a time. Which would you rather have? A workforce of vital, energetic hard-working individuals focused on results and available to work when and where you need them? Or a workforce of average individuals who use up most of their sick leave, (if not more than their fair share), and come to work dragging their heads and underperforming?

Wellness in the workplace has many benefits, and employers who have tracked their employees’ wellness, as well as those who have contributed to their employees’ wellness, have enjoyed increases in productivity, decreased healthcare costs, decreased workers compensation costs, and increased employee loyalty and higher morale.

Next month we’ll focus on the benefits of Wellness in the Workplace.



Greg Justice
American Association of Personal Trainers