Healthy Employees are Happy Employees (and Most Importantly, Productive Ones!)

Somewhere along the way, you’ve probably heard results from an array of recent studies demonstrating that healthy employees not only bring increased productivity to the workplace, but are also happier and more involved in all aspects of their lives. Let’s take an opportunity to look a little deeper into this – at the relevant and interesting highlights from this wealth of information.

According to an estimate from the Integrated Benefits Institute, U.S. companies can lose more than half a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity. Reasons for this can be disengaged employees, sleep-deprived workers, and most of all, absenteeism. Results also indicate that while physical health and health risk are important determinants of whether an individual shows up for work, the work environment itself is an integral factor of on-the-job performance. Therefore, employers who are interested in truly bolstering the productivity of their workforce should focus on multiple aspects of well-being.

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reveals that employers seeking to improve worker output and reduce absenteeism should employ broad work-site based programs encompassing employee health management and engagement strategies. The first annual Keas Employee Happiness Index reveals that employees who participate in health programs are three times more likely to be engaged and satisfied in their work. The cost savings of providing a workplace health program can be measured against absenteeism among employees, reduced overtime to cover absent employees, and costs to train replacement staff members.

Such programs promote a healthier lifestyle, hence better work productivity overall. Here are some interesting factoids demonstrating this:

  • Workers who ate healthy the entire day were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
    • Workers who exercised for 30 or more minutes three or more days a week were 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
  • Workers with well-managed chronic diseases experience higher productivity than individuals without chronic disease who are obese and do not exercise.
    •Companies that support workplace health have a greater percentage of employees at work every day.
  • Because employee health frequently carries over into better health behaviors that impact the employee and his or her family (such as nutritious meals cooked at home or increased physical activity with the family), employees may miss less work caring for ill family members as well.

In conclusion, there isn’t a person involved who doesn’t benefit from health and wellness promotion within an organization. Here’s to good health…and good work.

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