Corporate Health: Your Bottom Line

American industries lose billions every year because of employees’ illnesses and premature deaths related to heart disease (high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and obesity). The annual medical costs for overweight/obese employees alone are five times that of normal-weight employees.

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The good news: A growing body of research is finding that companies who institute heart-health lifestyle-change programs like the Pritikin Executive Programs achieve dramatic returns:

In a review of 19 studies on employee health, scientists concluded that each dollar invested in heart-health promotion programs nets a return of $3 to $6 over a two- to five-year period. “No other disease has a greater impact on the health of the workforce and its bottom line than cardiovascular disease,” concluded lead author Dyann Koffman, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A long-running study tracking more than 3,000 Finnish businessmen found that those with low cholesterol levels in midlife were more likely to live longer and enjoy better overall health. A total cholesterol level of 193 or lower at age 30 to 45 was associated with a 25% lower risk of death nearly four decades later. (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2004; 44: 1002

After just one year of adopting health/fitness habits, employees cut their average number of sick days in half.

Reducing just one health risk, such as high cholesterol, from involvement in corporate wellness programs boosts productivity by 9%.

Concluded leading health economist Marc L. Berger of the University of Pennsylvania in a review outlining the benefits of corporate health programs: “Employers who increase their investments in healthy human capital now will emerge tomorrow as the companies leading the gains in U.S. productivity.”

American Journal of Health Behavior, 2003; 27 (4): 456.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2005; Vol. 29, Issue 5 (Supplement 1): 113.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 1997; 39: 827.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2004; 46 (7): 746.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2003; 45 (12): 1213.

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