Small firms don't know wellness pays off

April 12, 2011 at 1:41 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 12 (UPI) -- Smaller U.S. companies are not aware of the economic benefits of workplace wellness programs even though they have the most at stake, a study indicates.

A survey commissioned by YourWellnessAdvantage.com, a free workplace wellness resource for small and mid-size businesses from the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, conducted in January says 28 percent of smaller companies -- those with 10-99 employees -- had or were in the process of implementing workplace wellness programs compared to 78 percent of companies with 100-2,499 employees.

Lisa Gable, executive director of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, says one of the reasons for this difference in wellness adoption programs appears to be that smaller companies are not aware of the economic benefits of workplace wellness programs.

Only 20 percent of smaller companies say they strongly agreed that program benefits exceed costs, compared with 38 percent of the larger employers surveyed, Gable says.

The National Business Group on Health, a non-profit industry advisory group, says employers can realize as much as $3.27 in financial benefits for every $1 invested in workplace wellness programs, Gable says.

"Smaller companies have an even greater stake in the health and productivity of their workforce than larger employers," Gable says in a statement.

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