In our research for posts on this site, we frequently come across important studies that highlight the business case that well-executed preventive care health management programs in the worksite are clearly enduring and valuable, helping drive improved workplace environments and individual outcomes.

Here is our ongoing list of these studies. Please check back often, as we’ll continually add more as we find them.

Of course, also please drop us a line anytime to update us on any important studies you think we should know about.

Study: ‘Healthiest Employees Cost Companies Half the Healthcare Costs’

Date: April 20, 2017

Key Points: “The study offers a compelling business case for employers who offer health insurance to invest in comprehensive workplace health and well-being programs and policies, said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention and a study co-author.”

WWH Citation

Study: Continued Interventions — Via Phone — Helps with Weight Management

Leadership Key to Workplace Wellness Success

Date: March 22, 2017

Key Points: “Informed communications about the value of WHP need to be bi-directional—meaning that the views, opinions, and attitudes of both senior executives at organizations and their workers need to be regularly gathered and analyzed in order for WHP programs to be successful.”

WWH Citation

Study: Continued Interventions — Via Phone — Helps with Weight Management

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine

Date: February 21, 2017

Key Points: “The maintenance intervention, delivered primarily by telephone, addressed satisfaction with outcomes, relapse-prevention planning, self-monitoring, and social support. Usual care involved no contact except for study measurements.”

WWH Citation

Preventative Health Services — Including Obesity, Tobacco — Can Increase Cost-Effectiveness: Study

Source: Annals of Family Medicine

Date: January/February 2017

Key Points: “This study identifies high-priority preventive services and should help decision makers select which services to emphasize in quality-improvement initiatives.”

WWH Citation

Study Reviews Combination of Type 2 Diabetes and Individuals with ‘Poor Mental Well-Being’: Presenteesim, Work Productivity

Source: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Date: November 2016

Key Points: “Patients with T2DM and poor or very poor mental well-being experience greater health care resource use and work productivity impairment than patients with T2DM and good mental well-being. The consequences of such impairment for those with poor or very poor mental well-being have real-world implications for associated costs to employers and health plans.”

WWH Citation

Worksite Obesity Prevention Recommendations: Complete List

Source: Harvard T.H. Chan Public School of Health

Key Points: “Obesity, with its links to many chronic conditions, is a huge drain on individual as well as corporate health. It can sap productivity, worsen mobility and morale, and increase healthcare claims, sick days, and occupational injuries. Programs that focus on workplace obesity prevention have been shown to reverse these trends.”

WWH Citation:

Poll: More than four in ten working adults think their work impacts their health

Source: NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll

Date: July 11, 2016

Key Points: “The survey of more than 1,600 workers in the U.S., one in six workers (16%) report that their current job has a negative impact on their health. Workers most likely to say their job has a negative impact on their overall health include those with disabilities (35%), those in dangerous jobs (27%), those in low-paying jobs (26%), those working 50+ hours per week (25%), and those working in the retail sector (26%).”

WWH Citation:

Likelihood of Unemployed Smokers vs Nonsmokers Attaining Reemployment in a One-Year Observational Study

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine

Date: May 2016

Key Points: Smokers had a lower likelihood of reemployment at 1 year and were paid significantly less than nonsmokers when reemployed. Treatment of tobacco use in unemployment service settings is worth testing for increasing reemployment success and financial well-being.

WWH Citation:

Overweight, aging boomers driving disability claims

Source: Benefits Pro article based on Unum survey

Date: May 5, 2016

Key Points: Aging and overweight baby boomers are creating a new health insurance challenge: How to successfully manage disability claims when claims based on joint and musculoskeletal disorders are beginning to rival cancer as a top disabilities driver

WWH Citation:

Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings

Source: Health Affairs

Date: February 2010

Key Points: In a critical meta-analysis of the literature on costs and savings associated with such programs, we found that medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and that absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent. Although further exploration of the mechanisms at work and broader applicability of the findings is needed, this return on investment suggests that the wider adoption of such programs could prove beneficial for budgets and productivity as well as health outcomes.

WWH Citation:

The Value of Wellness: Will Incentives Save the Day?

Source: Soren Mattke, Senior Scientist and Managing Director, RAND Health Advisory Services

Date: April 15, 2016

Key Points: A good program begets good uptake: Even without incentives comprehensive programs have the highest participation rates; High-powered incentives primarily benefit program vendors; They usually charge per participant; The cost of incentives are paid by the employer (rewards) or employee (penalties); Carpet-bombing has a poor ROI; Broad and untargeted approach misses the mark and may cause collateral damage.

Managing Manifest Diseases, But Not Health Risks, Saved PepsiCo Money Over Seven Years

Source: Health Affairs

Date: January 2014

Key Points: Workplace wellness programs may reduce health risks, delay or avoid the onset of chronic diseases, and lower health care costs for employees with manifest chronic disease. But employers and policy makers should not take for granted that the lifestyle management component of such programs can reduce health care costs or even lead to net savings.

WWH Citation:

Employer Case Examples

Source: Partnership for Workplace Mental Health

Date: 2016

Key Points: “Our Employer Case Examples database helps to facilitate the sharing of successful employer practices in key areas of mental health. Use this tool to identify ways to advance mental health at your company – and then come back to share your story!”

WWH Citation:

The Association of Technology in a Workplace Wellness Program With Health Risk Factor Reduction

Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Date: 2013

Key Points: Users were able to complete an HRA, virtual coaching, live coaching, or social challenges to reduce their risks and were able to determine for themselves what level of engagement they preferred. All coaching programs were structured using risk-based educational modules. Live coaches completed these modules telephonically, while virtual coaching was completed using the same content, through self-directed online programs. Both coaching interventions used recommended action programs related to the risks identified from the risk appraisal, laboratory testing, and biometric screening. They were focused on identification of barriers, goal setting, and self- monitoring activities aimed at increasing self-efficacy. Live coaches used motivational interviewing as a method for engaging members in the coaching process, which was the only significant difference from the virtual coaching intervention.

WWH Citation:

The role of employee wellness programme in the hospitality industry: a review of concepts, research, and practice

Source: Research in Hospitality Management

Date: 2014

Key Points: Employee wellness programmes and their related concepts, such as a corporate wellness culture and CSR, are key factors that can influence the success of hospitality businesses. Positive outcomes of employee wellness programmes, such as employee engagement, customer engagement, productivity, profitability, and so forth, emerge from this review of previous literature. In addition, this article presents several successful business practices associated with the employee wellness programmes implemented by leading hospitality firms, for managerial reference. In turn, it offers four main insights. And: “Though this study focused on the hospitality industry, key points related to wellness programmes likely generalise to other service industries, such as tourism, airlines, retailing, and information technology, or even to manufacturing. Managers in various industry settings could tailor the findings provided herein to their particular situations to implement effective wellness programmes, build a corporate wellness culture, and engage in CSR.”

WWH Citation:

Obesity, Smoking Damage U.S. Economy

Source: Gallup

Date: September 7, 2016

Key Points: “Coupled together — and limiting the analysis only to unnecessary healthcare costs and incremental unplanned absences — obesity and smoking are needlessly costing the U.S. economy nearly a half-trillion dollars annually.”

WWH Citation:

Cardiometabolic Risk Factor Changes Observed in Diabetes Prevention Programs in US Settings: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Source: PLOS Journal

Date: July 26, 2016

Key Points: DPP lifestyle modification programs achieved clinically meaningful weight and cardiometabolic health improvements. Together, these data suggest that additional value is gained from these programs, reinforcing that they are likely very cost-effective.

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