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Using a Return-On-Investment Estimation Model to Evaluate Outcomes From an Obesity Management Worksite Health Promotion Program

Baker, Kristin M. MPH; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Pei, Xiaofei PhD; Weiss, Audrey J. PhD; Bowen, Jennie MPH; Tabrizi, Maryam J. MS; Nelson, Craig F. MS, DC; Metz, R Douglas DC; Pelletier, Kenneth R. PhD, MD(hc); Thompson, Elizabeth MPH, RD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: September 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 9 - p 981-990
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318184a489
Original Articles

Objective: Certain modifiable risk factors lead to higher health care costs and reduced worker productivity. A predictive return-on-investment (ROI) model was applied to an obesity management intervention to demonstrate the use of econometric modeling in establishing financial justification for worksite health promotion.

Methods: Self-reported risk factors (n = 890) were analyzed using χ2 and t test methods. Changes in risk factors, demographics, and financial measures comprised the model inputs that determined medical and productivity savings.

Results: Over 1 year, 7 of 10 health risks decreased. Of total projected savings ($311,755), 59% were attributed to reduced health care expenditures ($184,582) and 41% resulted from productivity improvements ($127,173), a $1.17 to $1.00 ROI.

Conclusions: Using an ROI model to project program savings is a practical way to provide financial justification for investment in worksite health promotion when risk reduction data are available.

From the Health and Productivity Research (Ms Baker, Dr Pei, Ms Bowen, Ms Tabrizi), Thomson Reuters, Washington, DC; Workplace Health Group College of Public Health (Ms Baker), University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.; Institute for Health and Productivity Studies (Dr Goetzel), Rollins School or Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.; Consulting and Applied Research (Dr Goetzel), Thomson Reuters, Washington, DC; Performance Measurement (Dr Weiss), Thomson Reuters, Santa Barbara, Calif.; American Specialty Health (Dr Nelson, Dr Metz), San Diego, Calif.; University of Arizona School of Medicine (Dr Pelletier), Tucson, Ariz; University of California (Dr Pelletier), School of Medicine, San Francisco (UCSF), Calif.; and Healthyroads, Inc (Dr Thompson), San Diego, Calif.

CME Available for this Article at

Address correspondence to: Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, 4301 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20008. E-mail:

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine