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Improving Employee Productivity Through Improved Health

Mitchell, Rebecca J. MPH; Ozminkowski, Ronald J. PhD; Serxner, Seth PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 10 - p 1142–1148
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182a50037
Original Articles

Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate productivity-related savings associated with employee participation in health promotion programs.

Methods: Propensity score weighting and multiple regression techniques were used to estimate savings. These techniques were adjusted for demographic and health status differences between participants who engaged in one or more telephonic health management programs and nonparticipants who were eligible for but did not engage in these programs.

Results: Employees who participated in a program and successfully improved their health care or lifestyle showed significant improvements in lost work time. These employees saved an average of $353 per person per year. This reflects about 10.3 hours in additional productive time annually, compared with similar, but nonparticipating employees.

Conclusions: Participating in health promotion programs can help improve productivity levels among employees and save money for their employers.

From OptumHealth, Golden Valley, Minn.

Address correspondence to Rebecca J. Mitchell, MPH, OptumHealth, 6300 Olson Memorial Highway, Golden Valley, MN 55427 (

Conflicts of interest and source of funding: Funding for the study was provided by and the authors are employed by Optum. The authors’ compensation was not tied to any revenues gained from or the outcomes associated with the program services described in this article.

Authors Mitchell, Ozminkowski, and Serner have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine