About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Study: Prevention is Best Medicine, ROI

And now, some inspiration from another sector

A new study from the Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit health advocacy group, reports that community health programs that stress exercise, healthy eating and no cigarettes are a far better investment than those that focus on the treatment of diseases or medical conditions.

According to “Prevention for a Healthier America,” Wellness Corporate Solutions' home state of Maryland, for example, would save $6 for every dollar invested in prevention, or $332 million over five years.

Nationally, spending $10 per person per year in proven community-based programs to increase physical activity, improve nutrition, and prevent smoking could save more than $16 billion annually within five years—an ROI of $5.60 for every $1 spent.

While this research doesn’t address corporate wellness programs, per se, I think there’s a lot that we can take away from this report—first and foremost the notion than an ounce of disease prevention is clearly the best medicine.

Two relevant and generally inspirational quotes from a Washington Post article on the study:

"What's been interesting is that if you make it easier for people to make better choices, they actually do," said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health.


"We've got to change the mindset from treating sick people to preventing illnesses in the first place," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

Harkin later added: “People think preventive health care "pays off 20 or 30 years from now, but this shows you get the money back almost immediately, and then the savings grow bigger and bigger.”

Seems like a great reason to shift our collective corporate focus to prevention, as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your assessment, however, the challenge in any type of wellness initiative is driving awareness, initiating participation and inspiring on-going engagement in preventative activity.

Asking individuals to change their behaviors is a very personal lifestyle change in both mindset and behavior. In order to be successful, communities and corporate wellness sponsors have to consider addressing 5 key questions for individuals and they are: 1) What do you want me to do, 2) Why do you want me to do it, 3) How do you want me to do it, 4) What is in it for me and 5) How am I doing.

These 5 key questions reinforce a whole-brained approach to rewiring the brain over the longer term that results in a stronger commitment to behavior and lifestyle change.