Assessment of a physical activity program on the medical-hospital costs of a healthcare company
Revista Bras. Med. Trab. 2018; 16(2) : 21-127
Background: The protective effect of regular physical activity against risk of development of noncommunicable diseases and reduction of medical-hospital costs are well established in the literature. However, no study investigated the financial impact of workplace physical activity promotion programs in Brazil.
Objective: To investigate the financial impact of a workplace physical activity promotion program on the medical-hospital costs of a private healthcare company.
Methods: The average healthcare cost per capita was monitored along one year and compared between employees who performed physical activity with sufficient frequency and the ones who did not adhere to the program. Employees were matched per age, sex and length of work at the company.
Results: From 3,744 employees offered participation in the program, only 80 performed physical activity 2 or more times per week. The average medical-hospital cost per capita/year was BRL 2,874.00 (SD=5.259), being BRL 125.00 higher, on average, for the employees who did not adhere to the program. The average medical-hospital cost per capita/year was BRL 1,901.00 lower, on average, for the employees who performed physical activity 3 or more times per week (n=3) compared to the ones who did not (p = 0.34).
Conclusions: The results of the present study do not allow asserting that the medical-hospital costs of employees who adhered to the program decreased. Longer follow-up and adjustments in the program design are needed to assess its actual impact.
Palabras clave: Health promotion, health care costs, working environment, noncommunicable diseases.