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Workplace wellness improves bottom line

Aug. 21, 2010 at 1:26 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Workplace wellness programs reduce time out and healthcare costs, and could help companies improve their bottom lines, U.S. researchers suggest.

Study co-author Louis Yen, associate research scientist in the University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology's Health Management Research Center, says a Midwestern utility company spent $7.3 million for the wellness program during a nine-year period and showed $12.1 million in savings associated with participation -- including medical costs, pharmacy costs, time off and worker's compensation -- for a net savings of $4.8 million.

"One of the advantages of the study is it shows that a sustainable program will give you savings," principal investigator Dee Edington says in a statement. "Previous studies looked at programs that are short and intense."

The findings indicate wellness programs work long-term, even though the employees who participated age, Yen said.

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