Why the Workplace?
On average, Americans working full time spend more than one-third of their day, five days per week at the workplace, and 83% of the workforce spends that time in a sedentary job.
The price of inactivity has greatly contributed to the obesity rate of adult Americans. Nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, which doubles the risk of heart disease and stroke.
That extra weight costs both American employees and organizations directly and indirectly. Annual healthcare costs for an obese employee is about $1429 higher than someone with normal weight, When combined with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, all consequences of obesity, health-related productivity losses can add up to over $225 billion a year.
The Good News
Employers are seeing the value of workplace wellness initiatives for their greatest resource, their employees! More and more large and small organizations are committing to health by offering health benefits, and seeing benefits in return.
According to the CDC, the potential benefits of a successful workplace health program are:
• Lower health care and disability costs,
• Enhanced employee productivity,
• Reduced employee absenteeism,
• Decreased rates of illness and injuries,
• Enhanced corporate image,
• Improved employee morale,
• Improved employee recruitment and retention, and
• Increased organizational commitment and creation of a culture of health.
• Increased well-being, self-image, and self-esteem,
• Improved coping skills with stress or other factors affecting health,
• Improved health status, lower costs for acute health issues,
• Lower out of pocket costs for health care services (e.g., reduced premiums; deductibles; co-payments),
• Increased access to health promotion resources and social support,
• Improved job satisfaction, and
• Safer and more supportive work environment.