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Articles of Interest

Even a little bit of activity, spread throughout the day, is a practical, easy way to improve well-being.
Work. Walk 5 Minutes. Work.
The New York Times

2015

Gittelson, Celia. "A Field in Motion: Fighting Cancer with Exercise." Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - On Cancer, July 21, 2015.

Using an approach that spans basic and clinical science, exercise scientist Lee Jones, Director of the Cardio-Oncology Research Program (CORP), and his team are designing and testing the effects of individually prescribed exercise training to prevent or minimize the adverse cardiovascular side effects of cancer therapy. They’re also working to answer this potentially paradigm-shifting question: Can exercise be an effective treatment for cancer itself? Here, Dr. Jones talks about some of this work.

2014

CNBC interview with Mr. Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi and chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer.

Bryla, Jacy. "Cancer Presents Complex Workplace Challenges—According to IBI Research." Integrated Benefits Institute, March 26, 2014.

Cancer typically costs employers about $19,000 annually per 100 employees in lost work time and medical treatments. Lost work time and underperformance at work (presenteeism) due to cancer costs employers $10,000 per 100 workers—more than half of the total costs associated with cancer—and medical and pharmacy treatments cost about $9,100. Employees with cancer are absent 3.8 more days per year than workers without cancer, and also lose the equivalent of 1.8 more days per year to presenteeism.

Richtell, Matt. "Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes." NY Times, March 23, 2014.

A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel. The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.

Sherry, Mike. "KC employers urged to help fight cancer." Kansas Health Institute, February 13, 2014.

Fighting the nation’s second leading cause of death is a smart move for companies because it helps keep their workers fit and productive, a top U.S. health official with area connections told a business audience Tuesday at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

The bad news for smokers goes well beyond CVS’s CVS, +1.06%   announcement Wednesday that it will stop selling all tobacco products. It turns out smoking cigarettes can be even deadlier than previously thought. And, according to a report released by the U.S. surgeon general, smokers could be paying for the added risks in more ways than one.

2013

Thorpe, Kenneth, written in partnership with Mary Grealy, President, Healthcare Leadership Council. "Value of Employee Wellness Programs." Huff Post Blog, March 18, 2013.

We’re writing this blog post because we have considerable experience, in our respective roles, working with employers who have put in place innovative wellness programs and are using metrics and their understanding of the unique nature of their respective workforces to continue fine-tuning these initiatives to strengthen their effectiveness. We believe it would be unfortunate if the idea that employee wellness programs bring no return on investment took hold and became conventional wisdom. These initiatives are critical weapons in the ongoing war against chronic disease.

Schroeder, Steven A., M.D. "New Evidence That Cigarette Smoking Remains the Most Important Health Hazard." New England Journal of Medicine, January 24, 2013.

Everyone knows cigarette smoking is bad for you. Most people in the United States assume that smoking is on its way out. But the grim reality is that smoking still exerts an enormous toll on the health of Americans, as documented in two articles in this issue of the Journal. Both articles review mortality trends over time for men and women according to smoking status, and both confirm that smoking remains a huge threat to the public's health.

2011

"The Road to Wellville." Texas CEO Magazine, July 24, 2011.

A C-Suite discourse on the complexities of employee wellness

Henke, Rachel M.; Ron Z. Goetzel, Janice McHugh, and Fik Isaac. "Recent Experience In Health Promotion At Johnson & Johnson: Lower Health Spending, Strong Return On Investment." Health Affairs, March 2011.

Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies introduced its worksite health promotion program in 1979. The program evolved and is still in place after more than thirty years. We evaluated the program’s effect on employees’ health risks and health care costs for the period 2002–08. Measured against similar large companies, Johnson & Johnson experienced average annual growth in total medical spending that was 3.7 percentage points lower. Company employees benefited from meaningful reductions in rates of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco use, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. Average annual per employee savings were $565 in 2009 dollars, producing a return on investment equal to a range of $1.88—$3.92 saved for every dollar spent on the program. Because the vast majority of US adults participate in the workforce, positive effects from similar programs could lead to better health and to savings for the nation as a whole.

"Harkin Presses For Comprehensive Wellness Initiative To Fight Chronic Disease, Obesity And Reduce Health Care Costs." US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, January 1, 2011.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today reintroduced major legislation to create a healthier future for America by giving our citizens access to better preventive care and consumer information to encourage healthier lifestyles.  The Healthier Lifestyles and Prevention America Act, also known as the HeLP America Act, provides all sectors of our society - child care centers, schools, workplaces, health care providers and communities - with the incentives and tools they need to reach the goal of making America a healthier place.

Weldon, William C.. "Fix the Health Care Crisis, One Employee at a Time." Harvard Business Reivew, January-February 2011.

Johnson & Johnson has been making substantial, systematic, and effective investments in prevention for more than 30 years. We dedicate resources to prevention because, like any successful investment we’ve made, it yields steady returns. (See “What’s the Hard Return on Employee Wellness Programs?” in the December 2010 issue of HBR.) Those returns take two forms: a healthier, more productive, more committed workforce and significantly lower overall health care costs.

2009

Berry, Leonard L., PhD. "Employers of Choice Attacking Cancer." September 1, 2009.

Remarks to the CEO Roundtable on Cancer September 2009.

Daily, Linda. "Creating a Tobacco-Free Campus." National Association of College and University Business Officers, August 2009.

Banning tobacco use on campus is gaining momentum. In Pennsylvania, such a ban has taken the form of a law, which took effect in September 2008, prohibiting smoking anywhere on state-owned higher education campuses. According to the American Lung Association of Oregon, 146 colleges and universities in other states, including the University of North Dakota (UND), Grand Forks, have instituted policies calling for 100 percent tobacco-free campuses.

While the time may have come for prohibiting tobacco use on U.S. campuses, adopting effective policies requires considerable effort, wide outreach, and ongoing oversight, as UND's journey illustrates. The university adopted a formal policy in October 2007, but its efforts to support a tobacco-free environment began in 2000.

Heinen, Luann and Helen Darling . "Addressing Obesity in the Workplace: The Role of Employers." National Business Group on Health, 2009.

This article describes the employer’s perspective on the cost impact of obesity, discusses current practices in employer-sponsored wellness and weight management programs, provides examples from U.S. companies illustrating key points of employers’ leverage and opportunities, and suggests policy directions to support the expansion of employers’ initiatives, especially for smaller employers.

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