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ACSM In The News

ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

New Global Association Promotes Benefits of Worksite Health

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2011
CDC, Coca-Cola representatives agree with productivity, profitability advantages

ATLANTA – A newly formed international association dedicated to worksite health says encouraging employees to be active and healthy is crucial for company cost savings – and their message is backed by representatives from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and The Coca-Cola Company.

The International Association for Worksite Health Promotion (IAWHP), an affiliate society of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), was introduced at today’s 13th-annual ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition. Nico Pronk, Ph.D., FACSM, and president of IAWHP, says employers may be overlooking how valuable worksite health programs can be to their bottom line.

“Studies have shown that when workers are healthy, absenteeism decreases, naturally leading to increased productivity – and, in turn, profitability,” Pronk said. “Employers should facilitate activity for their employees just like schools do for students with recess.”

Marilyn Batan, MPH, who is part of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Debbie MacLean, an operations manager for Coca-Cola who manages the company’s health management programs, spoke at the IAWHP launch, testifying to the advantages of worksite health and how it’s been a crucial part of getting their own employees healthier.

It was estimated that in 2008, employers paid an average of more than $9,000 per employee for health care, and that number could rise to an average of more than $11,000 per person in the U.S. by 2015. However, since 87.5 percent of health care claims are the direct result of the employee’s lifestyle choices, worksite health promotion programs – which lead to healthier lifestyle choices – can greatly reduce health care costs.

The IAWHP will provide resources and education to worksite health practitioners – and to companies wishing to hire a practitioner or start worksite health programs. The association recently updated a manual to help companies along the way, ACSM’s Worksite Health Handbook.

Pronk says it’s not just the big companies like CDC and Coca-Cola who need worksite health programs; in fact, small business might need it the most.

“Worksite health programs don’t have to be expensive, and in a time when many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, they need these programs so they’re spending less on health care,” he said.

According to the Prevention Institute, there is a substantial return-on-investment in health care and disease prevention. For every $1 invested in prevention, the return amounts to $5.60.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. 

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