A systematic review of the evidence concerning the economic impact of employee-focused health promotion and wellness programs

J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Feb;55(2):209-22. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182728d3c.


Objective: To assess the evidence regarding the economic impact of worker health promotion programs.

Objective: Peer-reviewed research articles were identified from a database search. Included articles were published between January 2000 and May 2010, described a study conducted in the United States that used an experimental or quasi-experimental study design and analyzed medical, pharmacy (direct), and/or work productivity (indirect) costs. A multidisciplinary review team, following specific criteria, assessed research quality.

Results: Of 2030 retrieved articles, 44 met study inclusion criteria. Of these, 10 were of sufficient quality to be considered evidentiary. Only three analyzed direct and indirect costs.

Conclusions: Evidence regarding economic impact is limited and inconsistent. Higher-quality research is needed to demonstrate the value of specific programs.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health / economics*
  • Occupational Health Services / economics*
  • United States
  • Workplace / economics