In a previous Robard blog on job absenteeism, we found that nationally, it is estimated that obesity costs employers more than $73 billion annually in higher healthcare costs — and that is a conservative estimate. The statistics don’t end there. Employees with obesity incur more than double the amount in health care, workers compensation and short-term disability costs than normal weight employees. In fact, obesity and related diseases have driven much of the increase in healthcare costs for employers. Looking toward the future, companies are beginning to look to adding weight management to their corporate wellness packages to help them reign in healthcare and HR expenses before obesity takes them under.
There’s no question that worksite wellness programs make a difference in employee health and productivity. Findings from 56 studies on worksite wellness programs that were published in the American Journal of Health Promotion showed an average 27 percent reduction in sick leave absenteeism, 26 percent reduction in health care costs, and 32 percent reduction in workers’ compensation and disability management cost claims.
Because of obesity’s well-recognized connection with the most common comorbid chronic conditions, employers have already begun to wise up about the efficiency of encouraging employees to attain a healthy weight to improve their overall health. In fact, in a study on Obesity in the Workplace, 71 percent of employers and 92 percent of jumbo employers agree that “it is an appropriate role for an employer to include a range of obesity-related services and benefits for employees.”
Ultimately, studies are showing that employers are connecting the appropriateness of weight management programs with their concern about medical claims expenses, sickness and disability expenses, and lost productivity. As offerings for corporate wellness programs continue to grow and diversify, this could soon prove to be a great market for weight loss centers. Not only is it beneficial for weight loss centers to expand their market, but employers will see significant cost savings, and employees will enjoy a healthier weight and life as a result. Certainly sounds like a win/win for all involved!
If you are a health care professional interested in Weight Management and its role within Corporate Wellness, click here to watch or share Robard's recent webinar, "How Weight Management Plays a Critical Role in Corporate Wellness," or to download the slides from the presentation.
And for even more information on why weight management is important for corporate wellness, watch the video below: