Health care costs related to employees with chronic diseases may be reduced via workplace wellness programs; however, costs aren’t necessarily lowered by encouraging other workers to adopt healthier lifestyles. MASSAGE Magazine has previously reported on massage therapy as a component of workplace wellness programs.

A new RAND Corporation study funded by PepsiCo examined the employee wellness program offered by PepsiCo. Researchers found that efforts to help employees manage chronic illnesses saved $3.78 in health care costs for every $1 invested in the effort.

“However, the program’s lifestyle management components that encourage healthy living did not deliver returns that were higher than the costs,” a RAND press release noted.

Workplace health and wellness programs are becoming an increasingly common workplace benefit in the U.S., the press release noted.

“The Affordable Care Act has several provisions designed to promote such efforts as a way to lower health care costs [and] a recent RAND study conducted for the U.S. Department of Labor found that about half of U.S. employers with at least 50 workers and more than 90 percent of those with more than 50,000 workers offered a wellness program during 2012.”

The results are published in the journal Health Affairs.

Related articles: “Could On-Site Massage Help Workaholics?”; “Stress is High in U.S. Workplaces”