A Meta-Analysis of Workplace Wellness Programs and the Impact of Sun Life Financial’s HealthyRETURNS Health & Wellness program on Employee Health, Productivity and Organizational Costs

A recent meta-analysis of wellness program research literature, phase 1 of the project described in this proposal, suggests that wellness programs reduce absenteeism, resulting in an average savings of $251 per employee per year. These results are similar to those of a team from Harvard University, whose findings suggest a return on investment (ROI) of $3.27 for every dollar invested in wellness programs. Thus, programs which generate strong employee health outcomes may also generate substantial savings for the employer, thereby supporting a business case for workplace wellness strategies. Both studies also concluded, however, that existing evidence is relatively weak, particularly outside of the U.S., and further exploration of the mechanisms at work is needed before making claims about broader applicability.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Michael Rouse


Lisa Cossy, Chong Sung (Danny) Kim & TBD


Sun Life Financial




Finance, insurance and business


Western University



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