Fitness in a Box: Part Two
Benefits of Workplace Fitness and Wellness Programs
More than one-third of Americans are overweight or obese. On top of that, the two chronic health conditions with the highest health-related costs for employers are depression and obesity. (2)
Unhealthy, unhappy employees are unproductive employees. They miss more work than their more satisfied counterparts (up to an additional 15 days a year). (2)
So how do workplace fitness and wellness programs counteract these conditions and improve both employee and company health?
They Create a Sense of Community and Empowerment
There’s a reason programs like Weight Watchers encourage participants to attend weekly meetings and weigh-ins: Doing so inspires both accountability and a team atmosphere. People are less likely to slip back into unhealthy habits if they know others are counting on them, or if they’re inspired by their peers.
By making wellness a company-wide initiative, employees have a built-in team for support, accountability and continued motivation. And encouraging those relationships between co-workers strengthens the connections employees feel toward the company, which helps with retention.
They Reduce Health Risks and Healthcare Costs
More than 60% of employers say that implementing wellness programs has reduced their healthcare costs. (3)
In fact, a study conducted by HCIactive found that employees who fully participated in wellness programs saw a 40% reduction in healthcare costs compared to employees who did not. (4) In another study, the University of Louisville found that every dollar invested in a workplace wellness program led to $7 in healthcare savings. (5)
Implementing healthier behaviors — such as eating better, quitting smoking and being more active — has a real effect on the conditions that cause serious health risks, which are costly to employers. By encouraging these behaviors with fitness and wellness programs, companies can actually save money as employees improve their health.
They Increase Employee Productivity
Unhealthy employees are often sick, tired or unable to focus. And health issues can lead to absenteeism, which can cost employers up to $280 annually per employee. (6)
As people get healthier, they tend to have more energy, both physically and mentally. Helping employees make healthy changes through workplace fitness and wellness programs translates to:
- Greater engagement
- Increased productivity
- Less time away from work
They Increase Employee Engagement and Retention
Employees want to feel valued by their employers. Fitness and wellness programs benefit the workplace, but they also directly benefit employees themselves. And when employees feel like their managers care about their well-being, they’re more likely to stay with that organization.
Fitness and wellness programs create a sense of camaraderie between employees, too. Participating in these programs helps them develop friendships, and those friendships make them more apt to stay at an organization.
Interested in learning more about fitness and wellness programs? Move on to: Fitness in a Box Part Three: The Challenges of Workplace Fitness and Wellness Programs
Return to Fitness in a Box Part One: Getting Started
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