Prasada clients commit to wellbeing in the workplace because it’s the right thing to do. Still, as one of our colleagues recently said, “Helping employees be healthier, more engaged, and less stressed can’t help but improve the numbers.”
She should know. Self-insured, her company made a major commitment to wellbeing in the workplace. They’ve enjoyed significant reductions in premiums as well as better overall productivity and reduced turnover.
For more research and examples like those on this page, feel free to contact us directly at 215-870-7775 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wellness and fitness: Studies show that healthy behaviors improve financial outcomes
Wellness: Hundreds of studies have examined whether company investments in wellbeing bring the organization measurable benefits. The answer is clearly, Yes. A review of 42 of these worksite health promotion programs, covering more than 370,000 people, showed:
- 28% reduction in sick leave
- 29% reduction in health costs
- 33% reduction in disability and workers’ compensation costs
- $5.50 savings for every dollar invested
- *Chapman, LS. Proof Positive: An analysis of the cost-effectiveness of wellness, 2005.
Mindfulness: Shown to lower stress, improve heart health and lower medical costs
Aetna recently participated in a study of participants in their mindfulness and yoga programs that was published in the online version of the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.
Participants in mind-body stress reduction treatment groups showed significant improvements in perceived stress with 36 and 33 percent decreases in stress levels respectively, compared with a control group that reported only 18 percent. They also showed better heart rate measurements, suggesting that not only their minds, but their bodies were better able to manage stress.
Further, people who reported the highest stress levels in the study (top 20%) had nearly $2,000 higher medical costs for the preceding year than those reporting the lowest stress levels.
“Stress can have a significant impact on physical and mental health, so there is a strong need for programs that help people reduce stress as part of achieving their best health,” said Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini. “The results from the mind-body study provide evidence that these mind-body approaches can be an effective complement to conventional medicine and may help people improve their health, something that I have experienced personally.” Read More
The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health in the US estimates that stress-related ailments cost companies about $200 billion a year in increased absenteeism, tardiness, and the loss of talented workers. Between 70% to 90% of employee hospital visits are linked to stress. And job tension is directly tied to a lack of productivity and loss of competitive edge.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK echo these findings. In 2008/09 an estimated 415 000 workers in Britain reported work-related stress at a level that was making them ill. The 2009 Psychosocial Working Conditions (PWC) survey showed that about 16.7% of workers thought their job was very or extremely stressful. Self-reported work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for an estimated 11.4 million lost working days in Britain in 2008/09.
Biophilic design: Natural elements drive profit margins in the workplace
Many studies around the world that point to the value of workspaces that incorporate natural elements.
For instance, an office building at the University of Oregon offered a naturally-occurring laboratory where 30% of offices overlook trees and landscape, 31% overlook a parking lot and building, and 39% are interior offices with no view.
Interestingly, it turns out that employees with a view of trees and landscape take an average of 57 hours of sick leave per year, compared with 68 hours by those with no view. The urban view cohort falls in between. Quality of view turned out to be the primary predictor of absenteeism.
Other studies show that simple changes like skylights have been shown to produce as much as a 40% increase in retail sales in a store. In schools, attendance increases by an average of 3-4 days per child in a sunlit room, compared to one with no view, and test scores increase.