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Worksite Health
Worksite health promotion is an investment in human capital. Employees are more likely to be on the job and performing well when they are in optimal physical and psychological health. Scientific research shows the linkage between a company's productivity and the health of its employees.


  • The indirect costs (e.g., absenteeism, presenteeism) of poor health can be two to three times the direct medical costs.1-4
  • Productivity losses related to personal and family health problems cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee per year, or $225.8 billion annually.5
  • A review of 73 published studies of worksite health promotion programs shows an average $3.50-to-$1 savings-to-cost ration in reduced absenteeism and health care cost.6
  • A meta-review of 42 published studies of worksite health promotion programs shows:7
    • Average 28% reduction in sick leave absenteeism
    • Average 26% reduction in health costs
    • Average 30% reduction in workers' compensation and disability management claims costs
    • Average $5.93-to-$1 savings-to-cost ratio


  1. Edington DW, Burton WN. Health and productivity. In: McCunney, RJ: A Practical Approach to Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 3rd ed. 2003:140-152;
  2. Burton WN, Pransky G, Conti DJ, Chen CY, Edington DW. The association of medical conditions and presenteeism. J Occup Environ Med. 2004;46(6) suppl:S38-S45:
  3. Pelletier B, Boles M, Lynch W. Change in health risks and work productivity over time. J Occup Environ Med. 2004;46(7):746-754:
  4. Goetzel RZ, Long SR, Ozminkowski RJ, Hawkins K, Wang S, Lynch W. Health, absence, disability, and presenteeism cost estimates of certain physical and mental health conditions affecting U.S. Employers. J Occup Environ Med. 2004;46(4):398-412;
  5. Stewart WF, Ricci JA, Chee E, Morganstein D. Lost productive work time costs from health conditions in the United States: results from the American productivity audit. J Occup Environ Med. 2003;45(12):1234-124;
  6. Aldana SG. Financial impact of health promotion programs: a comprehensive review of the literature. Am J Health Promotion. 2001;15(5):296-320;
  7. Chapman LS. Meta-evaluation of worksite health promotion economic return studies. The Art of HealthPromotion. 2003;6(6):1-16.
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