Workplace wellness can cut costs, generate ROI

Employers struggling with the high cost of health care costs may find a more holistic approach to well being can cut these soaring costs.

There is some surprising research that demonstrates that small investments in corporate wellness may yield great returns, including attracting and keeping engaged, highly productive, loyal, healthy, and happy employees:

For every $1 invested in workplace wellness, a company can expect $3 in cost savings or benefits. (University of Michigan Research Center).

Employees who report a high degree of stress in their lives miss twice as many workdays as employees who report a low degree of stress. (Conference Board of Canada).

And one hour of yoga per week reduces stress levels by one third, reducing healthcare costs by an average of $2,000 a year. (Aetna with Duke University School of Medicine).

Wellness and stress reduction training such as yoga mindfulness and meditation help us cultivate the ability to be present, make better decisions, sustain focus, and be happier.

It appears that the more people multitask, the less effective, creative and motivated we become. The American Psychological Association estimated that 43 percent of U.S. adults suffer adverse health effects from stress including reduced immunity to illness, increased risk of diabetes and weight gain, so it seems logical that reducing stress may be one of the key ingredients to employee productivity.

Baptist Health South Florida is considered one of the healthiest companies in America, with 10 fitness centers, most of which are open 24/7.

“A holistic approach to employee wellness makes us distinct and a destination employer. We even have happiness breaks,” says Maribeth Rouseff, Assistant Vice President for Employee Health and Wellness.

It’s reasonable to conclude that constant stress and distraction takes a toll on people’s health, Rouseff says. “As a provider of corporate wellness programing, more companies are reaching out to us, looking for different ways to help employees be healthier. We even offer Lunchtime Learning with tips on how to manage stress.”

Lissette Egues, Assistant Vice President of Community Health for Baptist Health South Florida, says Baptist has extended its holistic programs to the community. More than 72,000 South Floridians attended holistic classes last year, an increase of 29 percent.

Rouseff maintains that the best advice for any company is to first understand what its leaders want to achieve. “Companies who have healthier programs attract better employees, and Baptist Health takes this approach seriously.”

Most leaders do everything they can to form their enterprises, but constant stress can make individuals lose perspective and priorities as well as their ability to create original solutions. A holistic approach to corporate wellness is good for employees and good for business. ?

Linda Janasz is the Editor-in-Chief of Lifestyle magazine, an Emmy award-winning producer, journalist and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), and holds a PhD. She has created and teaches a program called Mindfulness, Meditation and Movement (MMM) that has helped hundreds of people find balance in an unbalanced world. For more information about upcoming MMM individual programs or to inquire about corporate sessions, email Linda@mindmedmove@gmail.com.

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