Helping employees kick unhealthy habits and prevent disease has benefits for companies too, and businesses around the world are stepping up their efforts.
For more than a decade, the international organization GBC Health has been working with its corporate members to fight communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The group is now setting its sights on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). These disorders, which include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease, account for 60% of deaths globally and have long dampened productivity and economic growth. Recognizing the role the private sector can play in preventing NCDs, GBC Health teamed up with FTI Consulting to survey businesses about their initiatives in combating NCDs. The results below highlight how seriously companies are treating the matter.
Programs target wide-ranging conditions
Among companies currently offering NCD-oriented health and wellness programs, eight in 10 have initiatives aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease, with almost as many helping workers quit smoking. Diabetes, obesity and women’s health (family planning and pre- and post-natal care) tied for third at 68.4%.
% of businesses offering NCD-orientated health and wellness programs
Both kinds of programs - for communicable and noncommunicable diseases - have been effective
Eight in 10 companies offering noncommunicable disease programs reported the programs have made a difference, with 34% terming that impact “significant.”
Private vs. Public ResponsibilityCompanies viewed business as having a responsibility at least equal to that of government for addressing diabetes, obesity and behavioral issues such as alcohol abuse and physical inactivity.
Where Companies Can Make A DifferenceRespondents ranked comprehensive wellness as the area in which corporate NCD programs can make the strongest impact, followed by physical inactivity and cardiovascular disease.