The ROI of Tea for Health and Wellness

There are a myriad of documented health benefits associated with drinking tea regularly, many of them related to the most expensive ailments we face, such as cancer and heart disease.  Every year we learn more and more about the biological mechanisms at play (primarily antioxidants and enzymes) but one very significant health benefit of tea is often underestimated: the idea and habit of tea as a healthy alternative.

The day to day habit of drinking tea can help to promote a culture of health, which is essential to the success of any health and wellness program.

“An effective workplace health program will require employers to create a culture of health that is employee-centered” and “provide supportive environments where health can emerge..”  –CDC Workplace Health Promotion

People Will Drink More Tea if it Tastes Better and is More Convenient

Research has shown that creating a healthy culture and work environment is a fundamental best practice for increasing employee engagement in healthy behaviors and health improvement.  – Hero Health

Bruetta makes it easier than ever before to offer a great tasting, healthy alternative to unhealthy sodas and energy drinks because loose leaf tea has significantly more natural flavor than tea from bags or bottles, reducing the need for added sweeteners. Natural great taste means tea can more easily become a daily habit, which can reinforce other health initiatives. And the return of investment on successful health and wellness initiatives is greatly reduced costs.

Total cancer-related costs for employers were $264 billion in 2010, with $125 billion spent in direct medical costs and $139 billion accrued in indirect costs.– Northeast Business Group on Health

Tea helps prevent cancer by stimulating protective genes, inhibiting blood flow to tumors, and various detoxification mechanisms.

“The average cost to treat someone with hypertension is $733 per year. A company with 10 employees who have high blood pressure spends an additional $10,000 every year on healthcare costs, lost productivity and workplace stress.” – Piper Report  /  LinkedIn

Tea helps prevent hypertension, heart disease, and stroke by relaxing blood vessels, reducing blood volume by inhibiting enzymes that trigger salt retention, reducing cholesterol, and softening the walls of blood vessels.

“Four of the 10 most expensive health conditions for US employers—high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and chest pain—are related to heart disease and stroke… A 1% reduction in excess weight and high blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels has been shown to save $83 to $103 annually in medical costs per person.” –CDC Workplace Health Promotion

Tea can help with weight loss.

“Full-time workers who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health problems miss about 450 million more days of work each year than healthy workers. The result is an estimated cost of more than $153 billion in lost productivity each year.” –CDC Workplace Health Promotion

And these are but a few of the costly ailments tea can help prevent, most of which have additional hidden costs, such as absenteeism.

“Medical costs fall by about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs and absenteeism costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent.”–Health Affairs

Productivity losses linked to employees who miss work cost employers $225.8 billion, or $1,685 per employee, each year.  –CDC Workplace Health Promotion

Johnson & Johnson’s 30-year health and wellness investments have produced an “average annual per employee savings of $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.” –National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Providing healthy alternatives for your employees, promoting a culture of health, and other components of a well-executed health and wellness program can lead to:

  • Lower insurance premiums
  • Fewer worker’s compensation claims
  • Less cost due to absenteeism and presenteeism.
  • Less paid sick days
  • Higher morale
  • Higher employee attraction, retention, and loyalty.

The CDC recommends implementing “coordinated environmental interventions designed to address nutrition, physical activity, stress management, depression, high blood pressure, and diabetes.” –CDC Workplace Health Promotion

“Leaders at companies with successful programs establish a healthy work environment by integrating health into the organization’s overall vision and purpose. Senior leaders not only speak of its importance to the organization’s success, they lead by example.”–Workforce Athletics

Thus, one extremely effective, simple, immediate step for an employer to take to increase the health of employees and stimulate a culture of health is to provide a convenient, high-quality loose leaf tea station and then drink tea with the employees while inquiring about each other’s health initiatives.

“Rather than putting the onus for health maintenance entirely on the employee, good leaders recognize that they can help drive and maintain positive changes by providing a supportive environment.” America Center for Health and Studies