It’s time for another Austin Sports Medicine 101 class!
“As health care costs continue to grow as part of the overall employment costs for businesses offering benefits, it is important to look at ways to improve the health and wellness of employees,” said Dr. Martha Pyron, Austin sports medicine doctor and owner of Medicine in Motion. “Increasing physical activity lowers the risk of many adverse health outcomes, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and colon and breast cancers. It can also help prevent weight gain, improve cardiovascular and muscular fitness strength, prevent falls, improve bone strength, and reduce symptoms of depression.”
Adult Americans spend a lot of time in the workplace. Creating a culture of wellness in the worksite may improve employees’ health, and a full wellness program can have financial and human benefits. Worksite wellness programs are designed by companies to support employees in their health decisions. These programs focus on areas such as nutrition, stress reduction, smoking cessation, breastfeeding, health screening and management, and of course, physical activity. The introduction of a worksite wellness program has the potential to:
- Help create a healthier workforce.
- Increase employee productivity.
- Decrease employee absenteeism.
- Lower employer health care costs.
- Increase employee morale.
- Attract and retain good employees.
A study of 192 companies found that after a year of wellness programming, including physical activity promotion, 70% of targeted risk factors had improved. A 2010 study showed that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, medical costs fell by approximately $3.27, and costs associated with absenteeism fell by approximately $2.73.