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Wellness: The Business Rationale

Wellness: The Business Rationale

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This report contends that organizations have a clear interest in the prevention of chronic disease as chronic disease drives healthcare costs, leads to productivity losses and threatens sustainability. Moreover, efforts aimed at workplace wellness can positively impact human capital investments.
This report contends that organizations have a clear interest in the prevention of chronic disease as chronic disease drives healthcare costs, leads to productivity losses and threatens sustainability. Moreover, efforts aimed at workplace wellness can positively impact human capital investments.

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Published by: World Economic Forum on Mar 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/04/2013

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This work was prepared by the Working Towards Wellness of the World Economic Forum.
Wo
rl
d Econom
i
c Fo
r
um
91-93 route de la CapiteCH-1223 Cologny/GenevaSwitzerlandTel.: +41 (0)22 869 1212Fax: +41 (0)22 786 2744E-mail: globalrisks@weforum.orgwww.weforum.org© 2008 World Economic ForumAll rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmittedin any form or by any means, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storageand retrieval system.
REF: 150108
The information in this report, or on which this report is based, has been obtained from sources that the authors believe tobe reliable and accurate. However, it has not been independently verified and no representation or warranty, express orimplied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of any information obtained from third parties. In addition, thestatements in this report may provide current expectations of future events based on certain assumptions and include anystatement that does not directly relate to a historical fact or a current fact. These statements involve known and unknownrisks, uncertainties and other factors which are not exhaustive. The companies contributing to this report operate in acontinually changing environment and new risks emerge continually. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance onthese statements. The companies contributing to this report undertake no obligation to publicly revise or update anystatements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise and they shall in no event be liable for anyloss or damage arising in connection with the use of the information in this report.
 
3
Chronic disease is responsible
f
or more
t
han hal
f
o
f
all dea
t
hs in
t
heworld and is projec
t
ed
t
o accoun
t
 
f
or
t
wo-
t
hirds o
f
all dea
t
hs globally in
t
he nex
t
25 years
.
This progression o
f
chronic disease is occurringdespi
t
e
t
he
f
ac
t
 
t
ha
t
 
t
hese diseases are largely preven
t
able
.
While
t
hechronic disease epidemic was ini
t
ially concen
t
ra
t
ed in developedcoun
t
ries
,
globaliza
t
ion has caused
t
he increase in chronic disease
t
obe even grea
t
er in emerging economies
.
Coun
t
ries such as Brazil
,
China
,
Russia and
I
ndia curren
t
ly lose more
t
han 20 million produc
t
iveli
f
e-years annually
t
o chronic disease
,
and
t
ha
t
number is expec
t
ed
t
ogrow 65% by 2030
.
This poses signi
f
ican
t
 
t
hrea
t
s
t
o
t
he vi
t
ali
t
y o
f
ahighly-in
t
erdependen
t
global ecosys
t
em
,
which in
t
urn can
t
hrea
t
en
t
hesus
t
ainabili
t
y o
f
already burdened social securi
t
y sys
t
ems inindus
t
rialized socie
t
ies
.
Organiza
t
ions have a clear in
t
eres
t
in preven
t
ion o
f
chronic disease
f
or
f
our major reasons:
Chron
i
c D
i
sease Dr
i
ves Hea
l
t
hcare Cos
t
s
I
n
t
he US alone
,
people wi
t
h chronic disease accoun
t
 
f
or more
t
han75% o
f
 
t
he na
t
ion’s US$ 2
t
rillion in medical spending
.
Whe
t
herheal
t
hcare is
f
inanced by employers
,
individuals or socialprogrammes
,
 
t
he impac
t
o
f
chronic disease is placing an increasingburden on heal
t
h sys
t
ems
,
 
t
axes and cos
t
s o
f
coverage
,
whichincreasingly burden organiza
t
ions and
t
heir employees
.
 The mos
t
cos
t
ly condi
t
ions and heal
t
h risk
f
ac
t
ors rela
t
ed
t
oproduc
t
ivi
t
y are di
ff
eren
t
 
f
rom
t
hose when considering only
t
he cos
t
o
f
 
t
rea
t
ing
t
he disease
.
Depression
,
as well as
f
a
t
igue and sleepingproblems
condi
t
ions or risks
t
ha
t
are o
f
t
en co-morbid wi
t
h chronicdiseases
have
t
he larges
t
impac
t
on produc
t
ivi
t
y
.
As wi
t
h heal
t
hcarecos
t
s
,
more risk
f
ac
t
ors mul
t
iply
t
he losses in produc
t
ivi
t
y
..
 
mm
“We have to move from illness towellness. Businesses will have toinvest in wellness. There is no choice.It’s not philanthropy. It’s enlightenedself-interest.”
Shrinivas M
.
Shanbhag
,
Medical Adviser
,
Reliance
I
ndus
t
ries
,
 
I
ndia

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