About the Studies
Sun Life Ivey "Canadian Wellness Survey"
In this survey, 504 studies on wellness were assembled from the current world-wide literature. From these, only those with experiment/control groups, pre and post intervention data, etc. were used. Thus, from these 504 studies, only 4 were found to meet scientific rigor. The best measurable result from these four was reduced absenteeism. They have begun their own "scientific study" to develop measurable and confirmable results.
The 2013/2014 Towers Watson Staying@Work Survey was conducted between May and July 2013 in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, and completed by a total of 892 employers, including 114 in Canada and 199 in the U.S. The respondents represent all major industry sectors. About half of the respondents are multinationals.
Towers Watson is a leading global professional services company that helps organizations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management. With more than 14,000 associates around the world, they offer consulting, technology and solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management.
Sun-Life Buffet "National Wellness Survey 2013"
The Sun Life-Buffett National Wellness Survey has been a Canadian benchmark for insights on the status of workplace wellness and health promotion since 1997.
In 2013, Sun Life partnered with Harris/Decima to draw responses from over 400 Canadian employers. Respondents represented public private and non-profit organizations from across all regions, and ranged in size from less than 50 employees to those with several thousand employees. All respondents surveyed had partial or full responsibility for their company's group benefit plans and/or wellness programs, or indicated they would be responsible for their company's programs if offered.
"Workplace Wellness Programs Can Generate Savings"
Published in 'Prevention'' February, 2010; authored by; Katherine Baicker, David Cutler, and Zirui Song - Harvard.
This was a similar review of literature as Sun Life Ivey, although slightly more lenient. They developed a list of 100 articles in their initial search, which was further reduced to 32. They found medical costs dropped $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, plus reduction in absenteeism costs, reduced disability insurance and health premiums, and absenteeism was reduced by 1.7 days/employee/year.
"What's the return on Employee Wellness Programs?" Harvard, 2010
This study examined existing research and then studied 10 organizations, across a variety of industries, whose wellness programs have systematically achieved measurable results. In group and individual interviews, they met with about 300 people, including many CEOs and CFOs. They asked about what works, what doesn't, and what overall impact the program had on the organization.
Using their findings, they have identified six essential pillars of a successful, strategically integrated wellness program, regardless of an organization's size. Passes to fitness clubs and nutrition information in the cafeteria are not enough, as you'll see.
- Biltmore-hospitality and tourism
- Healthwise-health information publishing
- H-E-B-grocery retail
- Johnson & Johnson-health care products manufacturing
- Lowe's-home-improvement retail
- MD Anderson Cancer Center-health care
- Nelnet-education planning and finance
- SAS Institute-software
It is often quoted from this article that:
- Johnson and Johnson saw a return of $2.71 per dollar spent on employee wellness programs, based upon a review of 2002 to 2008.
- In 2001 MD Anderson Cancer Center created a workers' compensation and injury care unit within its employee health and well-being department. Within six years, lost work days declined by 80% and modified-duty days by 64%.
RAND "Workplace Wellness Programs Study: Final Report" (2013)
The RAND Corporation is a non-profit institution that helps improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. This study was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.