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At the start of each year, millions of Americans make resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking or live a healthier lifestyle. As January comes and goes, these resolutions fade and old habits prevail. National health care costs have risen to well over $1 trillion a year, due in part to Americans’ unhealthy habits. According to a recent study by Purdue University, 74 percent of American health care costs are due to lifestyle-related behaviors and are, therefore, preventable. In an effort to reduce long-term costs, many organizations are searching for ways to inspire employees to lead healthier lifestyles, and wellness programs can be a way to do just that.

Often perceived as a cure-all for rising costs, wellness programs have grown in popularity and are becoming commonplace in many businesses. A recent report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that wellness programs can result in a three-to-one return on investment. While these programs are a valuable tool, the key to ensuring success and ROI is the strategy behind the nuts and bolts of a wellness plan.

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