What Is the ROI for Workplace Health Promotion? It Really Does Depend, and That’s the Point

A recent systematic review of the literature on the financial impact of workplace health promotion found that 46 of 47 programs saved money, 41 saved more than they cost, and that the returns on investment varied greatly based on the quality of the study methodology, year of publication, sample size, scope of the program, direct or indirect measurement of savings and costs, and several other factors. A close examination of the methodology of the single study that reported net financial loss illustrates the
complexity of drawing conclusions from summaries of the literature without also examining the details. Next steps in advancing studies of the financial impact of workplace health promotion programs include developing a scale to measure methodology quality that is appropriate for workplace health promotion programs, and engaging independent third parties to evaluate programs.

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