June 9, 2017

A Healthy Bottom Line

Businesses can’t compete globally when present and future adults suffer from poor health

Poor health negatively impacts American businesses in a variety of ways

Businesses across the nation are feeling the effects of a health crisis. Health insurance expenditures consumed a hefty 45 percent of private industry’s total profits in 2009. Sick days and low-productivity days cost the American economy about $260 billion per year according to research estimates. Meanwhile, high medical costs and unemployment due to health issues reduces customers’ and potential customers’ ability to pay for goods and services.

Promoting a culture of health from an early age can help fight these problems

Research shows that high-quality early care and education programs can lay a foundation for good health throughout life. These programs can do everything from reducing adverse events such as abuse and neglect that harm crucial brain development, to fostering healthy, productive behaviors like learning self-control, sharing, and cooperation, to promoting good parenting for first-time, at-risk parents who may lack some of the skills or knowledge that would help their children develop.

Studies have also shown that high-quality early childhood education can help kids succeed in school and the workforce, positively impacting high-school graduation rates, college attendance, and even future employment, all of which promote positive health outcomes. In addition, potential health problems can be identified earlier and more easily when children have access to health services through enrollment in these programs. All of these benefits help create a lifelong culture of health—which also improves businesses’ bottom lines.

All companies need a healthy workforce, and early education helps lay the foundation for the long-term health of employees, families and communities.

Tim Solso, Chairman, General Motors Company; Retired Chairman and CEO, Cummins, Inc.


  1. National