There are plenty of reasons why employers should be concerned about the health of their employees. Workers who eat well, get exercise, and lead overall healthy lives are more productive, get sick less frequently, and cost their employers less in health expenses. Company wellness programs are designed with this in mind – by investing in the health of the people who work for them, businesses end up saving money in the long run and being more profitable. According to a recent study, the companies that invest in these programs are seeing results.
This study revealed that 17% of young “millennial” employees at workplaces that encouraged employees to follow multiple healthy lifestyle practices, were clinically obese. At companies that only promoted one kind of healthy lifestyle choice, or did not promote healthy living to employees at all, that number jumped to 24%. The study was conducted over a 10-year period, with participants answering an initial set of questions about their health choices in middle school and high school, and then answering another round of questions after they had entered the workforce.
The study also found that many employees reported eating fast food, drinking sugary drinks, and making other poor diet choices because they were conveniently available. In other words, unhealthy lifestyle choices are often the result of our environment – when unhealthy food is the most convenient option at work, many employees will choose eating poorly over spending the extra time and energy that it would take to eat something healthier.
Does your workplace wellness program need a refresh? Read how one company saw amazing results, including a 400% increase in fitness center usage, for one.