Investing in getting staffers healthy is never an easy sell, but new research may convince even the most hard-nosed CFO or upper-level exec.
A new study has found that poor health costs the U.S. economy an eyeball-popping $576 billion each year.
But what’s most alarming and relevant for HR pros is that almost 40% of those costs — about $227 billion — is due to lost productivity associated with poor health.
That manifests itself in two ways:
- absenteeism due to illness, and
- presenteeism — when employees come to work but don’t perform to their potential because they’re sick.
That’s all according to a new study from The Integrated Benefits Institute, a nonprofit health and productivity research firm that represents Google, Microsoft, Wells Fargo and other employers as well as unions, universities and municipalities.
The rest of the $576 billion total comes from two other areas:
- workers’ compensation and wage replacement due to illness (about $117 billion), and
- medical treatment pharmacy-related costs ($232 billion).
Get out more than you put in
Further, Cornell University economist and researcher Sean Nicholson stated, “The literature shows that employers can save an average of $3 for every $1 they invest in improving their workers’ health.”
Recent research puts that number even higher than Nicholson suggests.
For every dollar invested in wellness, employers see an average savings of $5.81 due to improved employee health and reduced medical claims.
That’s according to an analysis of 56 published studies on work-site health promotion programs conducted by American Journal of Health Promotion.