Prevention is way cheaper than waiting till you are hurt. When you are hurt it takes a lot longer to recover.
Getting treatments while you feel good is the best health plan.
“The greatest wealth is health.” Virgil
Does it pay to stay healthy? You bet it does!
In the United States, nearly 80% of all illnesses are considered preventable. And these preventable illnesses represent 90% of all healthcare costs. In the last four years, costs for the average job-related injury claim with time-loss has increased 27%. Imagine what would happen if we took solid measures toward prevention?
Improved health would result in increased wealth.
Progressive organizations have discovered this already. They have implemented workplace wellness programs to help employees take charge of their health and well-being.
These programs may include diet and nutrition counseling, health and fitness classes, walking programs, gym memberships, smoking cessation, stress management, tai chi, yoga, meditation, flexible work schedules, etc. They can be tailored to each organization depending on need and interest.
As a result, employers have seen a whole host of benefits, including a positive impact on their bottom line.
Research suggests that for every dollar spent on employee wellness, employers see an average return of $3.48 in reduced healthcare costs and $5.82 in lowered absenteeism.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physically active individuals incur $865 less each year in healthcare costs than inactive people.
The goal of all workplace wellness programs is sustainability of the organization.
Rather than undermine their employees capacity to meet their own needs, workplace wellness programs enhance working conditions to support employees and thereby support the overall health of the organization.
As such, workplace wellness is not an expense but an investment. It’s a strategy for sustainability whereby improving the human condition within an organization leads to improved performance, satisfaction, retention, profitability and long-term health.
Employees who participate in workplace wellness programs experience:
Employers who offer such programs see:
You can see why a wellness program would enhance an organization’s commitment to sustainability. Sustainability means health – of the individual, of the organization, of society at large.
It’s our duty to enhance the human condition. And it’s our reward to see its impact on the bottom line. Wellness programs that succeed have to go beyond installing a “fitness area” and offering screenings. There have to be strategies that result in the most at-risk employees participating – not just the healthy employees who would work out somewhere else anyway. And screenings have to result in reduced risk (of workplace injuries for example).
As a health enthusiast and fitness fanatic for over 35 years, I’ve been active in sports since my youth and remain passionate about hiking, backpacking, and functional exercise training.
I’ve practiced Tai chi for the past 20 years, studying in England, Scotland and Belgium. I have learned through this Taoist art all-new ways to approach and enjoy my life, health, relationships and business. And I make a point to share these insights with my corporate clients.
As a chiropractor for 25 years, I have devoted my career to my clients’ health and wellness. Now I do the same for forward-thinking companies who work toward health rather than try to ‘”fight” disease.
In the same way I have helped individual patients I now help each individual company sort through the issues that impact the health of their company so they can make strategic choices that have low downside risks and a high probability of success.
Through workplace wellness programs, I am able to do this on a large scale, improving sustainability in a far more powerful way.
Learn more about the author, Dennis Dilday.
Well said Dennis! If companies were to focus more on prevention, both the companies and the employees would greatly benefit. Now we have to figure out how to motivate those of us who are self-employed to use preventative treatment. We are getting closer.
Great article, Dennis! You're in such a good position to help companies become healthier and happier.
Excellent viewpoints Dennis. Well written and helps people to see the possibilities of what prevention can do for everyone - even as an economic stimulator. I look forward to shifting paradigms in the healthcare industry as they look to alternative preventive care for policy holders as a norm and the first touch for any person seeking to strengthen their wellness.
I'm right behind you. Business needs the tools and understanding how wellness is a high return on investment.
If the majority of people were well in this country, I can't imagine what ingenuity, productivity and energy we all could manifest... besides being in a less negative state, having more fun and adding meaning to our lives and the ones business impacts.
We know the health care system is broken... just walk into most offices and see how many people can no longer even simply stand balanced on two feet, effectively deal with stress and still sit being unaware of how even that robs us of our potential.
Keep up the good work Dennis.
The solutions are not that complicated.
Great comments all. Thanks.
Things have gotten so out of balance with the current model dominating "health" care and "health" insurance that the need for a real health-based approach is great and awareness is growing.
Solutions aren't that complicated, and when you imagine what a system would look like if prevention and wellness were a priority you realize the employer and employee make the key decisions and have the most to gain from shifting to a more sane system.
Making it simple is the fun part, and making it sustainable adds another dimension that opens even bigger doors leading to savings and profitability.
I have started going back to the gym. Running a business is stressful, and there is never enough time to do what needs to be done, but what is more important than being healthy? Nothing. If we "let ourselves go" the rest doesn't matter....
You are right Dan, on all counts. That is why I focus on the "Simple and Sustainable" in all of my offerings to individuals and to companies: time is money. This is done by focusing on the CAUSE of health, rather than the cause of the disease; by looking at the Physical, Chemical, and Emotional aspects and addressing those as such; and finally by taking on the most basic and fundamental aspects of health as starting points: for most folks there is plenty of work right there (e.g., physically there is breathing, standing, sitting, walking, bending and lifting).
And one aspect of "sustainable" that rarely gets discussed and is not appreciated is the aspect of "How much is enough?" For example, for the individual, how much flexibility do you really need? How strong is strong enough? This kind of Planning and Goal Setting allows individuals as well as companies to measure their progress and calculate their savings. And helps avoid the common practice of starting something you are never going to follow through with (or something that gets you hurt - see below).
Closely tied to that series of questions you might consider in deciding "What am I going to do?" is the very important "Where am I now?" "Where do I want to be?" (well, that one's kinda covered above), "How do I get there?" and, finally (and critically), "What is my next step?"
If you don't address these questions, you will llkely relive what I call The Three Rs - re-injury, relief, rehab, and recovery. This is the cycle that presents itself to anyone who doesn't understand Progression. (Well, actually, people and companies who do not understand progression usually follow a cycle of re-injury - relief - re-injury - relief, repeat...)
These topics are all available as presentations or workshops inside the corporate environment, and are available to individuals privately.
Thanks Cuz for the comment and I hope you are having a great Holiday Season!!
I just searched Google for "sustainable companies, Everett, WA" and this article came up on page 1. Way to go Biznik!!
Thank you, Dennis. Great article.