`Healthy` workforce boost firm`s stock market performance

Washington D. C, Feb 8 : Firms with healthy workforces appear to have a competitive edge in the stock market, according to a recent study.

The South African study compared the stock market performance of ten of the healthiest companies in South Africa to the market at large. Nine different investment scenarios were tested and in all nine scenarios, the healthy companies outperformed the Johannesburg Stock Exchange All Share Index.

The new research comes on the heels of a trio of studies published in the January issue of JOEM that examine the stock prices of U. S. companies with high-performing employee health and well-being programs. All three studies found companies with best-in- class workplace health programs outperformed the Standard & Poor's index by 7 percent to 16 percent per year.

University of Stellenbosch's Daniel Malan, an author of the study, said that taken together, these four studies add to the growing mountain of evidence that workforce health is an important factor in the financial health of a corporation.

Malan noted that now that the connection has been made, employers can see that the decision to invest in the health of their employees is a decision associated with a healthy bottom line. Not only do employees benefit, but stockholders benefit as well.

The study is publishes online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM). (ANI)

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