6 Reasons to Have an Annual Exam

Over the years the importance of an annual physical exam has become debatable.  At the end of the day, prevention is key.  Taking a yearly look at your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose levels and weight (to name a few) are strong indicators of potential ailments to come.  With a few modifications, it’s possible to change the path of your health and improve your future.

Below are some ways that prevention keeps employees happier while increasing productivity and decreasing costs:

  1. Patient’s history and physical are the most important factors in arriving at a correct diagnosis for future ailments, without an annual physical there is no patient history(1)
    • Carriers often incentivize annual exams – gift cards, cash, other rewards
  2. Indirect costs of employee poor health (2):
    • Lower productivity
    • Higher rates of disability
    • Higher rates of injury
    • Asthma, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity:
      • Reduce annual productivity by between $200 and $440 per person
      • Workers with diabetes average two more work days absent per year
  3. Disease screening tests help to detect diseases in their early, most treatable stages and can prevent more serious illness
  4. Healthy diets, weight and maintaining an active lifestyle are behaviors proven to be essential for a healthy life (3)
  5. Absenteeism costs are reduced by approximately $2.73 for every dollar spent on workplace wellness programs (4)
  6. Annual exams allow employees to form a trusting relationship with a physician which leads to a higher likeliness that they will visit the doctor when they are ill and comply with treatment plans

A Rand Study (5) commissioned by the Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services found that lifestyle management interventions as part of workplace wellness programs can reduce risk factors, such as smoking, and increase healthy behaviors, such as exercise.  They found that those effects are sustainable over time and clinically meaningful.

1. https://www.surgeongeneral.gov/priorities/prevention/strategy/appendix1.pdf

2.  http://yalemedicine.yale.edu/winter2009/features/feature/51079/

3.  http://www.eheintl.com/blog/importance_of_regular_physical_exams

4.  https://hbr.org/2014/02/in-defense-of-corporate-wellness-programs

5.  https://aspe.hhs.gov/pdf-report/report-congress-workplace-wellness