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Prev Med. 2005 Feb;40(2):131-7.

Financial impact of a comprehensive multisite workplace health promotion program.

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  • 1Department of Physical Education, College of Health and Human Performance, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-2214, USA.



The purpose of this study is to determine if the Washoe County School District Wellness Program impacted employee health care costs and rates of absenteeism over a 2-year period.


Outcome variables included health care costs and absenteeism during 2001-2002. Data were collected on 6246 employees over a 6-year period from 1997-2002. Baseline health claims costs and absenteeism from 1997-2000, age, gender, job classification, and years worked at the school district were treated as covariates. Logistic regression was used to compare 2-year costs and absenteeism rates between nonparticipants and employees who participated for 1 and 2 years.


No significant differences in health care costs were found between those who participated in any of the wellness programs and those who did not participate. There was a significant negative association between participation and absenteeism; program participants averaged three fewer missed workdays than those who did not participate in any wellness programs. The decrease in absenteeism translated into a cost savings of 15.60 US dollars for every dollar spent on the program.


After controlling for several confounding variables, wellness program participation was associated with large reductions in employee absenteeism.

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