Wellness programs bring healthy bottom line

Study finds employers get $1.64 back for each dollar spent.
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/13/2002

It’s a small twist on an old maxim: you have to spend money to save money.

A recent study of eight organizations from the Halifax area indicates that by introducing a wellness program an organization saves more than it spends. As worker health improves, absenteeism costs and long-term disability rates drop, and healthier employees also are more productive and have higher morale.

The findings of the study, Project Impact, conducted by Aventis Pharma, Atlantic Blue Cross and the Atlantic Health and Wellness Institute, revealed that for every dollar spent on comprehensive wellness programs designed to reduce the risk of coronary problems or stroke, employers will see a return of $1.64. The returns increase for high-risk employees, like smokers, and for each dollar spent on wellness programs for blue-collar workers, employers can expect to save nearly $4.