Wellness Programs Often Save More Than They Cost

As employers increasingly recognize the crucial role they can play in improving the health and well-being of their employees, employers are seeing significant financial returns and improved employee health.


  • Reduced costs in health care and medical coverage
  • Reduced absenteeism combined with an increase in presenteeism and worker productivity
  • Lower disability and medical claims
  • An increase in employee retention and morale

Wellness ROI

A company-supported wellness program can significantly reduce – sometimes even prevent – many major causes of employee disabilities. In addition, wellness programs often cost less than they save, resulting in a net revenue gain for your organization. Consider these facts:


  • 68% of employers offered wellness benefits in 2007, compared with 57% in 2003
  • The number of big U.S. employers using incentives to promote) employer-sponsored health and wellness programs rose from 62% to 71% between 2007 and 2008.
  • 83% of employers who incorporate wellness programs see returns of better than break-even.
  • Wellness programs save money. Programs that target overweight and obesity issues reduced health care claims by 26%, lowered sick leave 27%, and reduced Workers’ Compensation costs by 32%.
  • Wellness programs improve productivity. Lack of energy was reported as the #1 hindrance to productivity. More than 74% of those surveyed said health and lifestyle had a significant impact upon productivity.
  • Employees want them. Almost 88% of workers surveyed were interested in an employer-sponsored wellness program. Two out of three (67%) said they would be likely to use it.
  • They make your company more competitive. In-demand employees have come to expect them. That’s one reason wellness programs increased 68% between 2003 and 2007.


  • 1. Society for Human Resources Management’s 2007 Benefits Survey Report
  • 2. Employee Health & Productivity Management Programs: The Use of Incentives, ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and IncentOne Inc.) [Study is available for free online – includes new data about what programs employers reward, how much they spend and what they expect in return for their investments]
  • 3. Ibid
  • 4. Bachman, Keith Dr. (November, 13, 2007). Obesity: The Costs of the Crisis. Retrieved November 30, 2007.
  • 5-6. ComPsych Corporation, “The ComPsych Employee Health ReportCard”, Fall 2007 Survey report
  • 7. SHRM 2007 Benefits Survey Report


12 types of initiatives from the Alliance for Wellness ROI Inc., a nonprofit organization — Components of a wellness program include:


  • Disease management
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Fitness programs
  • Health risk appraisal
  • Onsite medical program
  • Personal wellness profile
  • Screenings / preventive care
  • Smoking cessation
  • Telephonic wellness services
  • Weight management
  • Wellness education / communication
  • Work / life balance




* According to the CDA 2011 Long Term Disability Claims Reviewcdadev-employers

Making healthy decisions and permanent lifestyle changes can be difficult. Be S.M.A.R.T. download a guideline to keep you on track!cdadev-employers