Using a return-on-investment estimation model to evaluate outcomes from an obesity management worksite health promotion program

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Sep;50(9):981-90. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318184a489.


Objective: Certain modifiable risk factors lead to higher health care costs and reduced worker productivity. A predictive return-on-investment (ROI) model was applied to an obesity management intervention to demonstrate the use of econometric modeling in establishing financial justification for worksite health promotion.

Methods: Self-reported risk factors (n = 890) were analyzed using chi2 and t test methods. Changes in risk factors, demographics, and financial measures comprised the model inputs that determined medical and productivity savings.

Results: Over 1 year, 7 of 10 health risks decreased. Of total projected savings ($311,755), 59% were attributed to reduced health care expenditures ($184,582) and 41% resulted from productivity improvements ($127,173), a $1.17 to $1.00 ROI.

Conclusions: Using an ROI model to project program savings is a practical way to provide financial justification for investment in worksite health promotion when risk reduction data are available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis / economics
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / economics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic*
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / economics*
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Workplace*