Certified Athletic Trainers in the Department of Defense

National Athletic Trainers’ Association Study Confirms On-Site Programs in Occupational Work Settings Provide Positive Return on Investment

DALLAS (November 3, 2003) – No matter what size a company is, employing certified athletic trainers (ATCs) full-time in an industrial or commercial setting, significantly decreases corporate health care costs while providing employees with life-enhancing wellness and fitness programs. So finds a new National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Occupational Athletic Trainers’ Survey, coordinated by Craig Halls, MBA, LAT/ATC, CEES. The main purpose of the survey was to determine the cost/benefits for athletic trainers working in occupational settings. Conducted in February 2003, human resource, safety managers and other corporate representatives surveyed throughout the country, responded unanimously that on-site occupational athletic training programs benefit both their companies and employees alike. They reported that ATCs provide a measurable, positive return for each dollar spent by decreasing the frequency, severity and cost of workers’ compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders, and increasing worker productivity through fewer lost or restricted workdays. In addition, the majority of respondents found their company’s employees appreciate the athletic training programs designed to meet the physical challenges of their jobs, as well as to prevent injuries. Such programs include: wellness, physical conditioning, ergonomics, education/outreach training, rehabilitation and fitness, nutrition consultation, safety, medical case management and work hardening. Among the Survey’s highlights:

  • 100 percent of companies report that an ATC provides a positive return on investment (ROI).
  • Of companies that track ROI
    • 30 percent indicate the ROI is at least $7 per dollar invested.
    • 83 percent indicate the ROI is more than $3 per dollar invested.
  • 94 percent of companies indicate that the severity of injuries has decreased by at least 25 percent.
  • Almost two-thirds of the companies indicate that the ATC has helped to decrease restricted workdays and workers’ compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) by more than 25 percent.
  • 50 percent of companies report that the number of injuries has decreased by at least 50 percent.
  • Almost half of the companies that hire ATCs to provide on-site physical rehab indicate that health care costs have decreased by more than 50 percent.
  • The types of companies responding to the survey include: aerospace products, automotive manufacturing, beverages, carbonless/thermal paper, chemicals/plastics, disability management, drugs/medical manufacturing, energy/electricity, entertainment, health care, logistics/warehousing and less-than-truckload freight. Methodology of Survey: The survey was e-mailed to NATA members who listed industrial or corporate as their primary work setting. Members in this category without e-mail addresses were sent the survey via U.S. mail. Only U.S. members were sent the survey. A total of 460 surveys were sent, 378 by e-mail and 82 by postal service. A total of 75 surveys were received, which is a 16 percent response rate. However, only 32 surveys were usable, which equals 7 percent. However, a 16 percent response rate is very acceptable, and the survey is valid as a trend indicator and reliable industry segment sample. About the Author: Craig Halls, MBA, LAT/ATC, CEES Halls is the Corporate Wellness Site Manager at Appleton Papers where he manages an on-site physical rehabilitation center and directs the corporate ergonomic programs. He is a nationally certified athletic trainer and a licensed athletic trainer in Wisconsin, where he also serves as the chair for the Industrial Committee of the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers’ Association. About the NATA: Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are unique health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports the more than 30,000 members of the athletic training profession through education and research. www.nata.org. NATA, 2952 Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 200, Dallas, TX 75247, 214.637.6282; 214.637.2206 (fax). ATCs in Occupational Settings

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