Corporate wellness programs have a high return on investment for Johnson & Johnson. Since 1995, the number of health care giant Johnson & Johnson employees who smoke has dropped by more than two-thirds. Employees who have high blood pressure or are physically inactive also has declined by 50%. That's great, obviously, but should it matter to managers?
How Employee Wellness Generates Results
Well, it turns out that a comprehensive, strategically designed investment in employees' social, mental, and physical health pays off. Jonson & Johnson's management estimate that employee wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent. That is a return on investment that few managers ever achieve even on high priority projects with hot, new product launches.
Corporate wellness programs have often been viewed as a nicety rather than a cost saving strategy. Recent evidence paints and entirely different picture. With tax incentives and grants available under recent federal health care legislation, U.S. companies can use employee wellness programs to reduce their enormous health care costs, which continually rise with an aging workforce population.
So, What Results Are Corporate Wellness Programs Achieving?
Aside from government incentives there is no question that healthy employees cost you less.
Doctors Carl Lavie and Richard Milani demonstrated that point by studying, at a single employer, a random sample of 185
workers and their spouses. The participants were not heart patients, but they received cardiac rehabilitation and exercise
training from an expert team. Of those classified as high risk when the study started (according to body fat, blood pressure,
anxiety, and other measures), 57% were converted to low-risk status by the end of the six-month program. Furthermore, medical
claim costs had declined by $1,421 per participant, compared with those from the previous year. A control group showed no
such improvements. The bottom line: Every dollar invested in the intervention yielded $6 in health care savings.**
How A Heart Rate Monitor, GPS Watch or Bike Computer Generate Measured Results
Use of a heart rate monitor, GPS watch or bike computer can track employee fitness so it is recordable and reportable.
This accountability can have a big impact in helping employees modify their physical activity levels. Wearing a heart rate monitor,
GPS watch or bike computer tracks results and builds a commitment to fitness - just the heart rate monitors presence
is reminding you daily that your exercise is a commitment.
Tracking software like Polar Personal Trainer and Garmin Connect allow employees to quickly transfer daily activity into
a data base that allows them to compare their fitness improvements over time.
At the Heart Rate Watch Company we are committed to helping corporations implement employee wellness programs that
make sense and improve accountability and the ability to track results. The beauty of programs like this is that employees
can use pre-tax medical spending account dollars to buy their heart rate monitors pre-tax and the associated software is free, all they
need to do is sign up for an account.
If you'd like some help getting corporate wellness programs set up, or if you'd like to learn more about options for
heart rate monitors and available tracking systems that create accountability, then call the real experts at the Heart Rate
Watch Company at 866-586-7129.
**[Harvard Business Review, "What Is The Hard Return On Employee Wellness Programs?" - by Leonard L. Berry, Ann M. Mirabito, and
William B. Baun, Dec. 2010