Objective: To determine whether changes in health risks for workers in small businesses can produce medical and productivity cost savings.
Methods: A 1-year pre- and posttest study tracked changes in 10 modifiable health risks for 2458 workers at 121 Colorado businesses that participated in a comprehensive worksite health promotion program. Risk reductions were entered into a return-on-investment (ROI) simulation model.
Results: Reductions were recorded in 10 risk factors examined, including obesity (−2.0%), poor eating habits (−5.8%), poor physical activity (−6.5%), tobacco use (−1.3%), high alcohol consumption (−1.7%), high stress (−3.5%), depression (−2.3%), high blood pressure (−0.3%), high total cholesterol (−0.9%), and high blood glucose (−0.2%). The ROI model estimated medical and productivity savings of $2.03 for every $1.00 invested.
Conclusions: Pooled data suggest that small businesses can realize a positive ROI from effective risk reduction programs.