Workplace Wellness Programs

Are you looking for ways to drive down insurance expenses in your dealership? Would you like to keep your employees healthy and reduce lost work-time due to illness or injury?  Would you like to improve employee performance and increase productivity in your dealership? If you find yourself nodding yes to the questions mentioned above, then look no further for solutions!  The answer is simple: Workplace Wellness Programs.

What Is A Workplace Wellness Program?
With rising health care costs and obesity reaching epidemic proportions in America, now is the time for American businesses to take charge of their workplace health — Workplace Wellness Programs are designed to focus on improving health issues that are driving-up corporate health care costs (i.e. obesity, smoking, stress). These programs help American workers cultivate healthy lifestyles, which in turn, have been proven to enhance employee morale and performance.  Employees with healthy lifestyle habits produce lower healthcare costs for employers through reduced healthcare claims and lower premiums.
Benefits of a Workplace Wellness Program
For the Employee…
  • Healthier Lifestyle (weight management, smoking cessation)
  • Improved Physical Fitness (lower chronic disease exposure)
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Higher self-image and self-esteem
For the Employer…
  • Reduced healthcare costs
  • Reduced Workers Compensation costs
  • Improved employee recruitment and retention
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Improved employee morale and employer loyalty
  • Higher productivity and quality performance
What Should be included in a Workplace Wellness Programs?
Most adults spend half or more of their waking hours at work. To improve employee health and the company’s bottom line, employers must take active ownership and be a part of the solution.  Experts agree that most businesses can achieve an ROI of $3 to $8 per dollar invested within 2-5 years of implementing a successful wellness program. Employers can support Workplace Wellness in many different ways. Here are some examples:
  • Implement a Healthcare Discount Program
  • Conduct health risk assessments and screenings
  • Supply wellness Information (Health newsletters, wellness leaflets, etc)
  • Offer discounted gym memberships or on-site fitness centers
  • Sponsor group physical activities (i.e. walking club, group cycling, Yoga, company supported sports teams)
  • Promote team-building training (time management, effective communication skills)
  • Provide seminars and workshops on healthy living (stress management, healthy cooking, etc.)
  • Negotiate discount programs with local healthy restaurants and grocery stores
  • Support smoking and tobacco cessation programs
  • Promote a smoke-free work environment
  • Offer weight loss and weight management programs
  • Support counseling programs for stress and family management
  • Provide a location for “Quiet Time” to de-stress
  • Offer substance abuse assistance programs
A health promotion program doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It just takes planning, support from senior management, and active staff participation.
Can Wellness Programs Improve My Dealership’s Workers Compensation Insurance Costs?
Yes. Wellness programs can significantly lower healthcare and Workers Compensation costs because healthy workers are less prone to injury, tend to recover more quickly, and overall have less costly insurance claims.   In a recent study done by Duke University in 2007, it was stated that workers classified as obese file twice as many workers compensation claims, reporting 11.65 per 100 full time employees vs. a 5.8 rate for their non-obese counterparts1.   Another study, published by National Council for Commercial Insurance Holdings (NCCI) stated that medical payments for obese claimants were 5 times more expensive vs. non-obese workers2.  Additionally, a study published in 2007 by the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins revealed that the odds ratio of injury for obese workers was significantly higher (2.21) than for those workers with a normal BMI index3. 
The impact of unhealthy workers in the American workplace is proving to have a marked effect on the increase in costs to the American health care system.  Unfortunately, these increased costs will continue to rise unless American businesses and the U.S. Government become a part of the solution. Do your part to get America healthy!   Consider developing a Workplace Wellness Program.
Internet Sites
Internet Based Plans
Wellness Program Providers in Virginia
1-  Obesity and Workers Compensation Results From the Duke Health and Safety Surveillance System, Truls Østbye, MD, PhD; John M. Dement, PhD; Katrina M. Krause, MA, ARCH INTERN MED/VOL 167, APR 23, 2007 WWW.ARCHINTERNMED.COM
2- NCCI Holdings, Inc./Gauging the Economy- February 2009 issue.
3- Keshia M. Pollack, Gary S. Sorock, et al, “Association between Body Mass Index and Acute Traumatic Workplace Injury in Hourly Manufacturing Employees,” American Journal of Epidemiology, accepted for publication January 17, 2007.