Food For Thought

Benefits to business: The Evidence for Investing in Worker Health & Wellbeing

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by Pam Anderson

At CTC we know the benefits of a worker health & well-being program, including providing  a great return on investment. An article from The Australian Government’s Comcare suggests there is strong evidence that good employee health & well-being boosts organisation health. Employers who run health & well being programs do so because they want to improve work performance and productivity, reduce costs associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, disability and workers’ compensation, improve the culture of the organisation to retain existing employees and improve the organisation’s image.

Chronic disease is on the rise and impacting on the health of Australian workers. Most chronic diseases are considered largely preventable (arthritis, musculature disease, depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and hypertension) and make up 70% of Australia’s overall disease burden.  Most chronic diseases are associated with one or more of the following lifestyle-related risk factors:

  • unhealthy eating;
  • physical inactivity;
  • alcohol; and
  • smoking.

A workplace can contribute to some risk factors (sedentary work and work-related stress), so initiatives to counteract these are very worthwhile.  At CTC our 4R’s Room provides a quiet refuge to rest, reflect and recharge from work-related stress.  Our Quit Smoking initiative (known as FLiCK OFF) in conjunction with QuitLine allows workers to access free nicotine replacement therapy and counselling sessions. Sedentary workers at CTC are offered adjustable-height standing desks allowing them to easily switch between standing and sitting while working.

There is emerging evidence that successful health and well-being programs provide an excellent return on investment resulting in decreased sick leave absenteeism, decreased workers compensation costs and decreased disability management costs. In fact one study suggests an organisation could save $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee health and wellbeing (Chapman, L.S 2007, Proof Positive. An Analysis of the Cost Effectiveness of Worksite Wellness, Seattle: Chapman Institute, cited in HAPIA, Best-Practice Guidelines: Workplace Health in Australia, 15 July 2011, 

Health and well-being programs make organisations look and feel good. Demonstating a corporate social responsibility can improve an organisation’s image with the public and become an “employer of choice”.

To read the full article, click here: Benefits to business the evidence for investing in worker health and well being