Healthy Choices Can Lower Healthcare Costs
Are you a human resources manager or business owner trying to determine the viability of healthy vending machines at your company? You’re not alone. Businesses of all sizes are increasingly focused on workplace wellness in an effort to improve employee health, lower healthcare costs and increase employee productivity.
According to Randel K. Johnson, Senior VP of Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American businesses provide health coverage to 148 million Americans. As the largest providers of health coverage, many U.S. companies have initiated workplace wellness programs in an effort to control costs.
The U.S. Chamber’s recent report, Winning with Wellness, reveals that today’s healthcare cost crisis is largely a byproduct of poor health. More than 117 million Americans have one or more chronic illnesses such as obesity and heart disease that account for 75% of the $2 trillion spent on medical care in the United States each year. With employee health having such a significant impact on healthcare costs, employers are looking for ways to reduce these costs while creating a healthier workplace.
Kicking off a wellness initiative doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.
Full-time employees consume approximately 43% of their daily snacks and meals during their time at work. That means the nutritional content of food consumed during the workday creates a significant contribution to employee overall health. One simple change companies can make available to employees, at no cost to the company, is the availability of healthier food options in healthy vending machines.
Many employees are already in the habit of making daily trips to the workplace vending machine as a quick and convenient way to grab a bite on the go while working through lunch, putting in overtime, or for shift workers with few other options. Yet traditional vending machines are an outlet for junk food. Healthy vending machines increase choices by offering access to healthier snacks, drinks and meals.
Chronic Disease and Rising Healthcare Costs
The consensus of 80,000 biometric screenings performed by Total Wellness at companies across the U.S. showed that 37% of employees are obese and one in 12 employees show signs of prehypertension. Additionally, nearly 20% of total employees screened were diabetic or pre-diabetic. The impact chronic disease has on employer healthcare costs is astronomical, yet these preventable diseases are often controllable through nutrition and exercise efforts.
Creating a Culture of Wellness in the Workplace: The Real Bottom Line
Due to the healthier workforce that results from workplace wellness programs, it’s not just healthcare costs that lower. Workplace wellness initiatives ultimately help control and reduce other costs such as worker’s compensation, disability, productivity, absenteeism and employee turnover.
Far-sighted companies around the U.S. are realizing the benefit of VOI (value-on-investment) over ROI (return-on-investment) by initiating workplace wellness programs that benefit both the employer and the employee. While the frequently cited Health Affairs study that shows medical costs dropping $3.27 for every $1 spent on wellness programs, companies have begun to realize that the best way to ultimately control healthcare costs is to invest in their most important asset: their people. Building a culture of workplace health boosts morale and improves employee attraction, retention, and job satisfaction.
With such a healthy return on investment—not to mention all of the other positive outcomes—why wouldn’t your company want to promote employee wellness? The real bottom line is that good health is good business.
How can we help?
Learn more about bringing healthy vending options to your workplace: contact HealthyYOU Vending to find out how to get a free healthy vending machine at your location.