Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Type



Moore School of Business

Director of Thesis

Dr. Wanda Chaves

First Reader

Madisyn Horton

Second Reader

Madisyn Horton


With the ever-expanding knowledge of the benefits of physical activity and good general health for all aspects of our lives, it should be quite surprising that activity levels are declining at accelerating rates. After taking a deeper look into the probable cause for this phenomenon, it becomes clearer that the increasing pressures of workplace culture are leading to more sedentary lifestyles.

This paper looks at the benefits of physical activity on people and on corporations, specifically workplace disease prevention and wellness programs, to see if there exists a mutualistic relationship between the two. For people, physical activity was consistently found to benefit our sleep quality, risk of disease, mood, productivity, and much more. Within the context of companies, physically active employees were proven to reduce absenteeism, productivity loss, and health care costs. After thorough review of several case studies and academic journals, it appears there is a strong connection between physically active employees and beneficial cost-saving opportunities for corporations. In fact, the average ROI of wellness programs ranges between 5.5 and 6.1 to 1, meaning a company can receive/save $5.5 to $6.1 for every $1 invested into the health of their employees through these programs. More specifically, when investing adequately into wellness programs (about $400/employee), absenteeism and disease management programs were found to save companies an average of $1,432 and $1,632 respectively per employee per year. These findings supports the idea that companies can realize tremendous cost-savings and employees can become healthier at the same time.

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© 2021, Dillon M Billingham-Hemminger and Jacob D Locke