John Hopkins University Medical Center studied employees from 8 aluminum plants and found that 85 percent f those injured were overweight or obese. These In findings support a Duke University study, which documented that obese employees have twice the number of injury claims vs non-obese employees. In addition, they lose 13 times more work days and have claim indemnity costs 1 1 times higher and medical costs 7 times higher than non-obese employees.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the costs to U.S. businesses related to obesity exceed a shocking $13 billion each year. Diabetes and smoking are right behind an expanding waistline in their impact on workers’ comp claims. Diabetes is directly correlated with obesity and affects the wound-healing process.

Consider a 300-plus-pound employee who must lose 50 pounds before surgical repair of a herniated disc due to a work injury can easily add six months of temporary total disability benefits and six months of doctor visits to the overall claim costs.

Personal medical problems such as obesity, smoking, poor physical condition and diabetes often complicate severe injuries, especially those involving surgical repair, making recovery more difficult, longer and expensive.

Most employers separate their health insurance from their workers compensation insurance with the human resources department handling the health insurance and the risk management department dealing with workers comp. Wellness is a reason for both departments to work together. Its pretty simple: healthier employees have fewer insurance and workers compensation claims.

You may be thinking to yourself, I understand that unhealthy employees take longer to recover from their work comp injuries, but how does a wellness program create fewer work comp claims? Think about it this way, employees who are not in good physical condition are much more prone to strains and sprains than employees who are physically fit.

For example, picking up a 60-pound object does not create a problem for the physically fit employee who has muscles that are properly toned.

The same 60-pound object creates a herniated disc in the employee who does not have developed back muscles to support the spine.

Corporate Health Partners (CHP), comprehensive wellness program provides a holistic approach to the employee’s health and the impact it has on you, the employer. CHP helps employers create a sustainable culture of wellness while providing on-site biometric screenings and coaching sessions to assist employees in making the lifestyle changes necessary to lower their overall risk. Healthy employees are happier and safer employees.

By implementing a coordinated and robust wellness program, employers experience reduced claims costs generating a lower experience modification rating while seeing higher productivity from employees being on the job working, instead of at home recovering from an illness or an injury.

With the new regulations under the Affordable Care Act employers that offer a qualified wellness program are allowed to charge employee who choose not to participate in their wellness program 30% her health insurance premiums. Employers can can charge tobacco users 50% more if they offer tobacco cessation as part of their s program and an individual decides to keep smoking.

The time for change is now — Your employees’ health directly relates to your bottom line. Doesn’t it make sense to incentivize those who are making healthier lifestyle choices and trying to be healthier?