Corporate Wellness Hits an All Time High by Deborah Williamson
As work becomes more deskbound the dreadful trend towards the global workforce becoming fatter, sicker and less productive due to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, fatigue and diabetes are overwhelming.

“Working towards Wellness”, identifies that chronic disease is a growing and costly threat to corporations and their workers. It calls on CEOs to make wellness fundamental in their corporate business strategy, suggesting that multinational employers have the most to lose and the best opportunity to prevent chronic disease within their work force. Corporate Wellness Programs provide an excellent structure to ensure the effectiveness of those who not only wish to have a successful organisation, but to those employers who really care about their employee’s wellbeing.

Too little attention within the corporate environment has been given to preventing chronic diseases and only 3% of government spending in the industrialized nations goes toward illness prevention. “Traditionally, it has been governments and not employers, that have been responsible for managing major global health risks, this fact is about to change,” a quote from Jim Henry, global leader for Healthcare, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The focus and funding is being taken up by those “Smart Corporations” who are offering their employees a pathway to optimum health and vitality. Corporations are now realising that they can, not only increase productivity and their bottom line but improve the working life of their much valued staff. The weight of the worlds declining health is falling on the bottom lines in many of the world’s largest companies in the form of reduced productivity, increased tax burdens and declining competitiveness.

An overview of the impact of chronic disease in the work force of the 21st century is as follows:
• Chronic disease, including cardiovascular, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes, caused 60% of deaths worldwide in 2005.
• The world now has more people who are overweight than hungry. Preventable risk factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity, stress and smoking are the biggest contributors to chronic disease.
• According to the World Health Organization, the US is the world’s fattest nation, with over half of adults overweight or obese. But China and India are growing fatter at a faster pace. By 2015, the number of overweight and obese adults in China and India will grow by 66% and 44%, respectively. In India, the share of deaths from chronic disease is expected to increase from 40% in 1990 to 67% by 2020.
Employers Step in with Wellness Programs
In “Working toward Wellness” Puriti has examined the challenges facing businesses as a consequence of the growing epidemic of ill health and chronic disease. There are large benefits to be gained from using wellness programs to attract and retain talented, healthy employees. Companies can improve the health and well-being of their workers while also bolstering the bottom line, the economic case for prevention is overwhelming.

A survey, conducted in conjunction with the US National Business Group on Health, found that:
• More than half of multi-national corporations expect to introduce or expand corporate wellness programs over the next five years.
• One third are implementing comprehensives wellness program in multiple countries. Corporate wellness programs have been shown to provide a 3-to-1 return on investment.
• Reasons cited for promoting wellness were; reducing indirect costs associated with absenteeism, disability and workers compensation. Improving work performance, such as productivity and quality. Reducing direct healthcare costs was cited as the third most important reason, followed in order of importance by the desire to improve the image of the company internally and to improve the image of the company externally.
• 20 of the largest multi-national companies in the world, 75% published corporate responsibility reports online in 2006. Of those that published reports, 93% emphasized their commitment to improving the health of employees.
So come on CEO’s MD’s and managers alike what are you doing to make a difference in the future health in your organisation and employees lives. For further information on Working towards Wellness contact

Author's Bio: 

Deborah Williamson is the Founder of Puriti Programs for life. A company based in Phuket Thailand that offer real solutions to optimum health and vitality.