Workplace wellness plan saves money over time

A Midwest utility company learned firsthand that it pays to keep healthy employees fit, reaping a net savings of $4.8 million in employee health and lost work time costs over nine years, U-M research shows.

A study of workplace wellness programs is one of the only longitudinal studies of its kind, says co-author Louis Yen Ph.D., associate research scientist in the School of Kinesiology’s Health Management Research Center.

Over the nine years, the utility company spent $7.3 million for the program and showed $12.1 million in savings associated with participation. Medical and pharmacy costs, time off and worker’s compensation factored into the savings, says Alyssa Schultz, research area specialist intermediate.

The findings are good news for companies looking to implement wellness programs, says , director of the Health Management Research Center and principal investigator.

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