The Monetary Value of Sweat

Feel better, live longer and save money—that’s a pretty good trifecta of benefits. It turns out that all three can be reached with a little sweat.

But we all know that developing new health and fitness habits can be a real challenge, which is why corporate wellness programs can prove so valuable to both employee and employer. In fact, research from the American Heart Association (AHA) found that being physically active could save anywhere from $500-$2,500 per person per year in healthcare costs. This includes spending on physician and emergency room visits, medicine, medical supplies and hospitalizations.

The AHA study followed more than 26,000 adults and catalogued their medical history, healthcare costs and exercise habits. Those with heart disease (who you might think were already a “lost cause”) were actually able to save about $2,500 a year just by meeting the AHA’s recommended levels of exercise. Even already healthy adults were able to post savings of $500 annually.

Does that mean hours in the gym and time with a personal trainer? In reality, the AHA’s prescription for exercise is really quite achievable by most—and the recommendations are based on broad-reaching health concerns:

  • To improve cardiovascular health, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise. That equates to no more than thirty minutes a day, five times a week of brisk walking. If needed, you can even break that down into two or three segments to equal thirty minutes per day.
  • If you’re focused on lowering blood pressure or cholesterol levels, shoot for 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity three to four times a week.

Ultimately, you don’t have to train for a marathon to see a difference. Nor do you have to pound the pavement if walking isn’t your thing. It’s merely about being active. Swim, bike, learn to row. Try salsa dancing. Take up boxing. How you sweat doesn’t matter—that you sweat does.

For even more exercise ideas based on your personality, check out

If you’d like information on creating a corporate wellness program, please contact your MJ Consultant or Shauna Henley at or 317-805-7500.