A healthy worker is a productive worker. These days, when considering the rising costs of health care, the rising incidence of chronic disease, increased stress and increased financial pressure, how do you help protect your employees and your company from the effects? Many companies have found the answer in Worksite Wellness Programs, which make it easier for workers to get exercise while on the job, make healthy food choices available and offer employees help with issues like quitting tobacco use or managing stress.
LDH is excited to support the Worksite Wellness Toolkit and Resource Guide, developed by the Louisiana Business Group on Health (LBGH). DHHcontributed to the development of this guide by serving on the LBGH Wellness Committee. This toolkit can be a catalyst for both improved health and reduced costs. It includes guidance on building support for a worksite wellness program, forming a wellness committee and assessing the health status of your workplace and employees.
Why Should You Implement a Worksite Wellness Program?
- Employees are working longer and harder. Americans now work an average of 47 hours a week, according to Harvard economics professor Juliet Schor. In comparison to 20 years ago, it is about 164 more hours a week.
- Health care costs are increasing. The United States spends $1 trillion dollars on health care, and the average annual health care cost per person in the United States far exceeds $3,000. Lifetime costs per person are somewhere in the neighborhood of $225,000.
- Five recent studies with large sample sizes show a strong correlation between obesity and employee absenteeism.
- 75 percent of money lost in corporations is from presenteeism, which is lost productivity that occurs when employees come to work but perform below par due to any kind of illness or impediment.
- The cost of obesity among U.S.full-time employees is estimated to be $73.1 billion, according to a new study by a Duke University obesity researcher, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
- A new study that provides a snapshot of a typical American workplace observed that chronic job stress and lack of physical activity are strongly associated with being overweight or obese. Unexpectedly, researchers also found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables did little to offset the effects of chronic job stress on weight gain among the employees, who were mostly sedentary. Instead, exercise seemed to be the key to managing stress and keeping a healthy weight.