Press Release: Virgin HealthMiles helps organizations create healthier workforce, lower costs
January 11, 2011 / Corporate Wellness
Companies across the country are feeling the effects of an unhealthy workforce. Lifestyle-related chronic conditions are driving more than 75% of today’s healthcare costs. Premium costs are rising on average 10 percent per year, the majority of which businesses incur. And today’s 7 most prevalent chronic diseases represent nearly $1 trillion in lost economic output. American business has reached a tipping point where unmanaged, preventable healthcare costs have become one of the largest drains on their income statements.
Beyond businesses, rising healthcare costs increasingly burden the American worker. The American Journal of Medicinereports more than 60% of U.S. bankruptcies are due to medical bills. Savvy employers know they must take a leadership role in curbing healthcare costs to protect their employees and their bottom lines. A PricewaterhouseCoopers study showed 94% of employers believe they can do a better job supporting their employees in managing their health to reduce costs and improve business performance.
Virgin HealthMiles members exemplify how prevention-focused employee wellness programs help individuals make measurable health improvements and reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. For instance:
- Jean M. lost more than 60 pounds with HealthMiles since April 2010, dropped from a size 20-22 to an 8-10, and reduced her Body Mass Index (BMI) by one category from 37 (obese) to less than 27.
- Sharon M., who underwent surgery and chemotherapy for Stage IIIc ovarian cancer, stayed active during her fight. With HealthMiles, Sharon lost 28 of the 30 pounds she’d gained during chemotherapy and lowered her BMI, a goal her doctors encouraged.
- Walter C. was approaching 40 and started taking medication to lower his cholesterol. As Walter became more physically active with HealthMiles, he was inspired to start running and cycling. After one year, Walter’s cholesterol dropped from 240 to 118 and his doctor scaled back his cholesterol medication, with a goal of eliminating it altogether. Plus, Walter completed his first marathon a year after he struggled to run a single mile.
- Linda M., who battled lifelong weight issues, hoped a surgical “lap band” procedure would help her shed some of her 267 pounds. When she was rejected for the procedure, she turned to HealthMiles for help. By getting active, in combination with sensible eating, Linda lost 65 pounds. Plus, both Linda’s blood pressure and cholesterol medications have been cut in half, with the potential to eventually be eliminated.
Investing in programs that help employees improve their health helps organizations reap benefits in the form greater productivity and cost savings. Virgin HealthMiles’ clients report significant cost savings as a result of the program.
Read more in the press release: VIRGIN HEALTHMILES HELPS ORGANIZATIONS KICK OFF 2011 WITH RESOLUTION TO CREATE HEALTHIER WORKFORCES, LOWER COSTS