Wellness time machine: 1987

Workforce Management looks back at the roots of the wellness concept.

Also driving enthusiasm for workplace wellness campaigns in the 1980s was the rising cost of health benefits…

In 1987, StayWell, along with actuarial firm Milliman & Robertson (now called Milliman Inc.), released a study showing for the first time that common health-risk factors such as smoking, obesity and not wearing seat belts were strongly linked to higher health care costs. Subsequent studies backed those findings.

“It got employers very interested in costs,” [David] Anderson [of StayWell Health Management] says.

Just for the sake of nostalgia, check out the prices of various household goods in 1987. The car prices in particular caught our eye–especially with healthcare costs for a family of four in 2012 approximating the cost of a midsize sedan.