A Comprehensive Worksite Wellness Program in Austin, Texas: Partnership Between Steps to a Healthier Austin and Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Published Date:Mar 16 2009
Source:Prev Chronic Dis. 2009; 6(2).
In 2003, Steps to a Healthier Austin was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement chronic disease prevention and health promotion activities. We report Steps to a Healthier Austin's partnership with Health & Lifestyles Corporate Wellness, Inc (Health & Lifestyles), to provide a worksite wellness program for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), Austin's local transit authority.
Capital Metro employs 1,282 people. In 2003, Health & Lifestyles was hired to help promote healthier lifestyles, increase employee morale, and combat rising health care costs and absenteeism rates.
Health & Lifestyles provided consultations with wellness coaches and personal trainers, a 24-hour company fitness center, personalized health assessments, and preventive screenings. The program expanded to include healthier food options, cash incentives, health newsletters, workshops, dietary counseling, smoking cessation programs, and a second fitness center.
Participants in the wellness program reported improvements in physical activity, healthy food consumption, weight loss, and blood pressure. Capital Metro's total health care costs increased by progressively smaller rates from 2003 to 2006 and then decreased from 2006 to 2007. Absenteeism has decreased by approximately 25% since the implementation of the program, and the overall return on the investment was calculated to be 2.43.
Since the implementation of the wellness program in 2003, Capital Metro has seen a reduction in costs associated with employee health care and absenteeism.
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