In an economic climate that features layoffs, consolidations and unemployment, the concept of workplace-wellness programs might seem archaic—yet the cost-savings benefits of such programs, which often include massage, far outweigh the outlay.

Researchers at Emory University found that worksite-wellness programs may reduce employee absenteeism. They presented their findings at the American Public Health Association Meeting Nov. 11.

For this study, environmental weight-management interventions were implemented in 12 worksites at The Dow Chemical Company in 2006-2007. Five sites received intense weight management interventions; four sites received moderate interventions; and three control sites received Dow’s standard individual programs

Cost savings due to reduced absenteeism were estimated at $414.90 per employee per year.

Research reported on previously by MASSAGE Magazine showed increased job satisfaction and decreased severity of pain were the two main benefits of employer-funded massage therapy for a group of long-term care workers.