What would it take to convince your CEO that employee health and wellness can be dramatically influenced by your company’s investment in its employees? Is your CEO aware of all of the research being conducted by corporations such as Bank of America, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, as well as research organizations such as the Rand think-tank, Limeade and Gallup polls? As a matter of fact, the research has already identified several major avenues that lead to substantial returns on the investments in employee health and wellness made by hundreds of large corporations:
- Employee attendance
- Employee engagement and satisfaction
- Better understanding and informed approaches to employee health
- Lower employee turnover
- Decreased health care costs through disease management
- Stronger relationships between employees and clients
- Higher profits for shareholders
Education gleaned from preventive health screenings, exams, health coaches and counseling is paramount to employees taking charge of their own health. With these tools, employees and management can create programs to take action on common health issues. Increased physical activity alone was shown in one study to reduce combined employer and employee health care costs by $1500 per year. Another study demonstrated that disease management reduced hospital admissions by 30%.
What then would be an immediate and cost-effective way to favorably turn the tide in the employees’ favor and win the approval of your CEO? One answer lies in the movement afforded by sit-to-stand desks in an office environment, and here are three supporting reasons:
- When the body is active increased blood and oxygen are pumped not just through the muscles but also through the brain. This lights up the brain and clears the fog resulting in greater energy and creativity. Studies show that it’s the movement -- the shifting between standing and sitting -- that encourages flow and reduces the physical complications of disease that result from long periods of stagnant work positions during the day. Tested employees feel more energetic and less tired when there is variety between sitting and standing. Movement and gentle stretching can be employed while transitioning from sitting to standing, and vice versa.
- A recent study shows that when employees feel that their employer cares about them by investing in their health and wellness they’re 38% more engaged at work. Engagement can be directly linked to stronger relationships with coworkers and clients resulting in a more invested performance.
- The biggest potential for return on employee investment has been shown by Rand to be in the stabilization of the diseases of chronically ill employees in the at-risk categories of diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, heart conditions and cancer. These conditions alone can consume 50% of a company’s claim expenses and have been shown to be complicated by sedentary office environments. As a matter of fact, health care costs are second only to payroll for the majority of businesses.
Companies that invest in employee health and well-being, along with preventative programs for high-risk employees, see greater productivity, engagement, greater employee retention, satisfaction and morale, leading ultimately to competitive advantages and increased financial returns.
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