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Still don't believe employee wellness programs are worth the investment? Get with the times, or get left behind.

By Dr. Vivien Brown, VP Medical Affairs on September 14 2018 |

A comprehensive, strategically designed investment in your employees’ mental and physical health pays off, big time. Some research suggests that for every $1 investment in employee health, companies can expect a $6 return when accounting for absenteeism, the cost of recruiting and training replacement workers, and the cumulative negative impact that unhealthy or sick employees have on productivity, workplace injury risk, and employee morale.  In one report, a representative of the Johnson & Johnson leadership team estimated that their employee wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million (net), over a ten year period. Moreover, today's top talent demands more from their employers. 

Want healthier employees? Contact us to learn more about corporate health and employee wellness programs. 


The average employee in Canada is unfortunately, pretty unhealthy, not dissimilar to the average Canadian in general. 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, excess alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or diabetes) and according to projections, the situation isn't getting better. 


More Alarming Statistics:

  • Only 16% of people with heart disease have their condition effectively treated and under control 
  • An estimated 4.2 million Canadians will have diabetes by 2020
  • Almost 40% of Canadian adults have high blood cholesterol
  • 40% of Canadians are either hypertensive or pre-hypertensive 

With the population of baby boomers aging, and Canadians saving less and less money for retirement, more employees are delaying retirement and working well into their 60s.  Meanwhile, Canadian employers can expect increasing pressure to take a more active role in supporting the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Instead of waiting for health problems to arise, savvy employers are focusing on preventive health through services like onsite Registered Dietitian consults, health-focused lunch and learns, and onsite fitness and yoga classes for staff. 

Focusing on improving the health of your employees and preventing health risk issues before they become serious medical problems wont just make for a happier, healthier, more engaged workforce, it will save the company cash. Consider the stats below (for sources and more details, click here):

  • Canadian employees with two or more lifestyle risk factors (eg. being sedentary, being overweight or obese, smoking, or high alcohol intake) are absent over 50% more often than those without the risk factors, and cost their employers 2-3 times more in health benefit costs.
  • A typical smoker costs their employer $2,500/year (on an annualized average basis).
  • The number of days lost from work due to illness among individuals with diabetes can equate up to 78.5 days per year.
  • Each year, employee absenteeism equates to an estimated $16 billion or more in direct lost revenue to Canadian employers.
  • Employees returning to work after a significant illness are more than likely to require ergonomic support.
  • The total cost of obesity to Canadian employers is about $1.3 billion per year.
  • There is a linear relationship between obesity and number of workers’ compensation claims, lost workdays, medical claims costs, and indemnity claims costs.
  • Overweight and obese employees spend 35% on health services and 77% more on medications than their healthy weight counterparts.

It's not only about the direct ROI of employee wellness programs, there are indirect advantages to the business as well. Wellness programs have been shown to:

  • Improve employee satisfaction
  • Improve employee loyalty and engagement
  • Have a positive impact on employer reputation, which supports the company's talent management strategy 

Employee wellness initiatives don’t have to be costly. Medisys Corporate Health offers a wide range of employee wellness programs to meet any budget. From biometric screening, to On-Demand 24/7 virtual healthcare, to onsite fitness classes, to employee lunch & learns, to Dietitian led weight management programing, to onsite fitness facility design and management and everything in between. Talk to us about your needs, we've got you covered. 

For more information on Medisys employee wellness services click here. 



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