You might be wondering, why would employers have a responsibility in personal decisions such as health literacy and personal wellness? Many studies have shown that individuals with lower health literacy have overall worse health outcomes resulting in higher healthcare costs. Lower health literacy can be tied to higher likelihood of hospitalization, worsened diseases and less likely to take advantage of preventative care. All of this ultimately results in an increase in chronic disease, including cancer and diabetes. This ultimately affects employees’ productivity, attendance and the company’s bottom line.
An employee spends more time at work than almost anywhere else. Employers invest in employee healthcare benefits and a focus on health literacy can reinforce the investment they are making in their employees’ health. By better understanding their personal health, employees are able to identify risks and seek preventative care when possible.