Preventive health care—receiving massage therapy, exercise and eating well, among other actions—has been shown to stave off illness and disease.

Americans might want to turn toward prevention when it comes to their health, as rising health-care costs are shown to put U.S. workers at a disadvantage compared with other countries’ citizen, according to a new report.

Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers whose companies provide health care for more than 35 million Americans, released the first annual Business Roundtable Health Care Value Comparability Study, in mid-March.

The study shows that the costs and performance of the U.S. health care system have put America’s companies and workers at a significant competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace, according to a roundtable press release.

“Health care costs are one of the top cost pressures facing American businesses today, inhibiting job creation and hurting America’s ability to compete in global markets,” said Harold McGraw III, chairman of Business Roundtable and chairman, president and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

“This study helps us understand the relationship between spending, quality and competitiveness, while enabling us to track progress as we push forward with health care reform,” he said.

The report combines internationally reported measures covering both spending on, and the performance of, national health care systems to assign a value to the U.S. health care system compared with important global competitors.

On a weighted scale, the results show that U.S. workers and employers receive 23 percent less value from our health care system than the average of five leading economic competitors—Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France—and 46 percent less value than the average of emerging competitors Brazil, India and China.

The full study may be read at