Making a Business Case

“For every dollar spent on health promotion, a company can expect a return of between $1.15 and $8.00. These cost savings come in the form of reduced absenteeism, reduced short- and long-term disability, reduced prescription drug use and increased productivity.”


Whether you are a CEO of a large company, an HR Specialist, a manager of a small business or a director of a non-profit organization, you face similar challenges when it comes to productivity and staffing:

  • Attracting and retaining the best employees
  • Managing and reducing absenteeism, and
  • Improving productivity and effectiveness to meet increasing needs.

A solid workplace health and wellness program is a key factor in addressing all of the above. Today’s top organizations no longer view workplace wellness as a “perk”; rather, they recognize it as a crucial investment in long-term success.

Sobering Statistics:

  • Workers with high work-life conflict registered 13.2 days absence/year compared to 5.9 days for those with low work-life conflict.
  • Employers pay an extra $488/year for every employee that doesn’t engage regularly in physical activity.
  • Canada’s workforce is aging. Experienced workers average twice as many sick days as their younger counterparts.
  • Workers who have little input into decision-making and how their jobs were organized were found 50% more likely to suffer from heart disease.
  • Canada lost 85.2 million workdays in 2001, up notably from 65.6 million five years previous.
  • A recent study showed that lack of job control increases distress which in turn increases the likelihood of musculoskeletal problems by 90%, cardiovascular illnesses by 12%, gastrointestinal problems by 210%, coronary heart disease by 350% and mental health disorders by 1740%.
  • The costs of lost productivity due to mental illness in Canadian business equals $11.1 billion per year.

(Sources: “Making Business ‘Cents’”, and “Creating Healthy Workplaces”, IAPA, 2004)

Workplace health is so much more than disability claims and sick days.  The challenge is that some of the strategies for addressing health in the workplace take time and the return on investment may not be immediate.

To learn more, check out The Case for Comprehensive Workplace Health Promotion