Thursday, April 17, 2008

Health Promotion

Health Promotion Gets a Thumbs UpHealth Promotion initiatives comes in many different forms, but the main purpose of health promotion is to encourage individuals to take preventive measures to avert the onset or worsening of an illness or disease and to adopt healthier lifestyles. Employers may utilize a wide range of health promotion initiatives, from onsite gyms to simple health promotion newsletters.
While some businesses have instituted very comprehensive health promotion programs, others have achieved savings or increased productivity with just a few simple health promotion activities. What’s most important is to get started. Having a plan, along with one or two health promotion activities, can serve as a foundation for building a more comprehensive program down the road.

Why Workplace Health Promotion?

Workplace health promotion is an investment in your most important asset, your employees. Studies have shown that employees are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal physical and psychological health. Employees are also more likely to be attracted to, remain with, and value a company that values them. Health promotion in the workplace improves company productivity by:
  • Attracting the most talented workers;
  • Reducing absenteeism and lost time;
  • Improving on-the-job time utilization and decision making; and
  • Improving employee morale, which leads to a reduction in turnover.
In addition to improved productivity, health promotion programs have proven to be an effective tools in slowing the growth of health care costs. Choosing healthier alternatives may reduce an employee’s chances of suffering from disease. Less disease means employers can lower health plan use, thereby lowering health benefit costs, and in turn increasing the bottom line. While medical cost savings from health promotion programs may be less evident than productivity gains, studies show that medically high-risk employees are medically high-cost employees as they use more health care and generate higher claim costs.

Finally, by investing in worksite health promotion, employers will be helping America achieve its two major Healthy People 2010 worksite-specific objectives:
  • 75 percent of all employers, regardless of size, offering a comprehensive employee health promotion program; and
  • 75 percent of all employees participating in employer-sponsored health promotion activities

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