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What is high blood pressure costing your business?

Consider these five heart-healthy solutions.

This article was last updated Feb. 15, 2023.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention External Site (CDC), approximately half of the adult population — or 116 million Americans — are living with high blood pressure. With a statistic like that, it's likely you have a significant number or employees who are knowingly, or even unknowingly, living with high blood pressure.

Unlike many illnesses and diseases, high blood pressure garners the reputation as the "silent killer," since there may not be any noticeable symptoms.

High blood pressure can be an extremely dangerous and costly disease if employees aren't aware of the condition, or do not manage it properly. The complications of untreated high blood pressure can notably impact your employees' time and productivity in the workplace.

What is high blood pressure costing your employees and business?

It's no secret that your healthy employees are less likely to call in sick or spend more in health care dollars. On the contrary, employees with high blood pressure can cost themselves (and your business) more in terms of medical care, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Get a glimpse at the negative impacts of high blood pressure on your employees and business:

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Under pressure: The negative effects of high blood pressure

High blood pressure costs U.S. employers around $518 per year, per employee.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease costs employers an extra $1,100 each year in lost productivity.

Employees with high blood pressure are 4x more likely to die from a stroke.

National blood pressure guidelines have changed

Do you (or your employees) know that blood pressure guidelines have changed External Site? This means an employee who may have fallen in the "elevated" category before might now fall into the stage 1 hypertension category. While nobody knows your employees and business better than you, it's important to educate employees on the changes to ensure the health of your employees, business and bottom line.

Keep blood pressure guidelines in your back pocket.

Order the pocket-sized "Targeting Blood Pressure" guide so your employees always have the blood pressure guidelines on hand. Simply log in to the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit and find the guide by searching M-2319196.

5 solutions for high blood pressure in your workplace

As a Wellmark member, there are several resources and experts in your corner to help employees navigate, prevent or control their high blood pressure. Not to mention, there are a few healthy options your business can incorporate, too.

  1. Encourage the importance of prevention and a patient-provider relationship

    According to the PLOS ONE study External Site, the doctor-patient relationship Opens in a new window is important for good health. As part of the research, doctors went through training on how they interacted with patients, such as avoiding interrupting them in consultations and responding to their fears. The results showed an improvement in the quality of doctor-patient interactions.

Resources for employees:

Resources for your business:

  1. Encourage more movement throughout the day

    While some risks for high blood pressure are out of our hands, such as family history, age, gender, or race, there are risk factors employees have control over — notably, their amount of physical activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of adults External Site get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week. It’s not hard believe when an estimated 67 percent of adults report sitting External Site for more than eight hours a day.
  2. Consider including these additional educational resources within your workplace:

  1. Healthy cafeteria and vending options are a must

  2. Another high blood pressure risk factor that can be controlled is an unhealthy diet — especially one high in sodium. Because most of your employees are spending a majority of their time at work, it’s important to have healthy options in your cafeteria or vending machines. According to the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health External Site, improving the type of foods and beverages served and sold in the workplace positively affected employees’ eating behaviors and resulted in weight loss and reduced cardiovascular risk.

    Need some inspiration? Start with this round-up of articles:

  1. The impact of case management

  2. When employees don't receive adequate support for their unmanaged chronic conditions, they tend to have more health care-related costs and frequent trips to the doctor, which can impact your company's bottom line. Wellmark's Case Management Program Opens in a new window uses a team of clinically trained health care professionals to assist with your employees' unique health needs. The program focuses on providing employees with holistic, robust education and support that empowers them to take charge of their condition.

  1. Invest in a well-being program

    Keeping your bottom line in check is important, but keeping your employees happy, healthy and engaged in the work they do is priceless. Making the investment in a holistic wellness program for your workplace can result in 41 percent lower health-related costs compared to employees who are struggling[1]. And, employees are three times more likely to go the extra mile when they feel their employer cares about their overall health and well-being[2].

    Healthy business, healthy employees

    As your company’s HR or benefits administrator, you have a natural knack for wanting to educate employees on how they can become savvy health care consumers. And, companies that offer Wellmark coverage also offer their employees the tools and resources to help manage conditions like high blood pressure, track claims and costs, compare quality scores for providers and find top centers for specialty care.

    With myWellmark®, your confidence can be restored in your employees’ knowledge of their health insurance coverage, leaving you to answer fewer questions, calls and emails about their health insurance plan.

    If they haven’t done so already, encourage your employees to register for myWellmark Opens in a new window. Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative or email us at Send Email to learn more.