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Local Business Proves That Workplace Wellness Reduces Healthcare Costs

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Just today Governor Snyder introduced his new 4X4 plan in an attempt to help make Michigan residents healthier. However, other businesses in Michigan have already provided their employees with opportunities to eat better and get more exercise. Take, for example, Lansing’s Peckham Industries, where my friend Mitchell Tomlinson has worked as CEO since 1994. There, employees are able to utilize an on-site workout facility, weight loss support, and smoking cessation–just to name a few of the resources encompassed in Peckham’s "workplace wellness" program.

Peckham Industries launched their wellness program in 1990 and it now serves as a state-of-the-art initiative that has helped the company’s 2,100 employees achieve their health and fitness goals. As a non-profit, Peckham receives private support for its wellness program, but health officials are pointing to it as a model for other companies to follow. In addition, Peckham also emphasizes a holistic approach that takes mental health into consideration. For example, employees have access to massage and rooms devoted to dancing, painting, and praying.

The emphasis on overall health starts at the top with the company leaders, who say that they put their health first out of respect for their employees and to reduce the bottom line. In fact, they estimate that for every $1 spent on workplace wellness, they see a $2 savings in absenteeism, workers comp, and health insurance costs. Other health experts second these claims, as data show that wellness programs easily pay for themselves by providing increased savings in other areas.