The health and safety of their employees is something that is on the minds of many business owners. Naturally, a more productive and successful workforce can be tied to these factors, and the alternative could be a rising number of problems and a greater amount of workers' compensation insurance claims.
With that in mind, employers should focus on health and wellness. While issues can derail a company's output, they can be even more serious for the people involved. Therefore, dedicating resources to improve the overall fitness of staff members can be viewed as a smart business decision, plus it will also help improve workers' morale and lifestyles.
In order to achieve this goal, here are few tips and trends that can shed some light on health problems in the workplace:
Obesity more dangerous than smoking
Across the country, people engage in all manner of bad habits, and those are usually brought right into the workplace. As a result, companies should figure out how to address these issues, so insurance claims and costs remain low.
In fact, a recent study published in the medical journal PLOS Medicine found extreme obesity can be just as deadly as smoking for one's lifespan, Reuters reported. Researchers noted that a person of average height at least 100 lbs overweight was likely to die between six and 13 years earlier than their healthy counterparts. For smokers who weighed a healthy amount, they were likely to lose nearly nines years off their lifespan, making it potentially less harmful than obesity.
Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the weight center at Massachusetts General Hospital, told the media outlet that, while the results won't cause people to lose weight, it could encourage people to promote healthy living and institute treatment methods for extreme obesity.
As weight becomes an issue, it could have an impact on the business world. Workers who are obese may be prone to injuries, and that could lead to higher costs for employers. It is best for all involved to focus on combating this issue in the office. Policies and programs can help, and they are often a cost-effective solution to the problems of obesity, smoking and other health concerns.
Employers have options to keep costs down
Personal health can be a complicated subject in the workplace. Many people are hesitant to speak about their wellness in the open, but programs implemented by companies can be a fantastic way to provide an avenue for healthy living, as well as keep workers' comp insurance costs low.
According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, a publication of the Corporate Health and Wellness Association, employers have options when it comes to preventing chronic diseases. A high percentage of the population deals with either weight issues or smoking problems, and workplace-related strategies could be the perfect opening to make a change. One of the best steps is a wellness program. These can help employees become more active, learn about health problems, make dietary changes and work to cut out smoking.
In addition, it helps to hold employees accountable for their actions. When creating a wellness program, make sure there are benchmarks and rewards for hitting certain goals. This way, workers will have something to strive toward, but they can also learn what they need to do to improve. Corporate Wellness Magazine explained that having somebody there who they have to answer to can be a strong motivational factor, such as trainer or supervisor who will provide encouragement. Overall, these strategies can be well worth the initial investment.