The typical American office – a place filled with donuts, snack foods and employees that sit still nearly 8 hours a day! Inactivity is a recipe for disaster that is causing American companies millions of dollars and employees poor health.
According to the CDC, 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. That’s a lot of time spent inactive (not to mention snacking.) Almost two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, which doubles the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Further, the AHA estimates that healthcare costs for an obese employee is about $1429 higher than someone with normal weight. When combined with other risk factors (i.e. high cholesterol, stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.) health-related productivity losses can add up to over $225 billion a year!
So what can employers do? The answer is simple; make health a priority for your employees.
February is Heart Health Awareness Month
This might be the perfect time to think about creating and implementing a wellness program at your workplace. Research shows that employee health directly affects work performance, attendance and productivity, so wellness programs are an investment into your company’s most important asset: your employees.
Here are a few quick tips to help you make your team healthier this year:
- Bring in experts in nutrition and fitness to discuss tips to become healthier
- Hold team builders at a local yoga studio or gym
- Start a lunch time walk club
- Provide healthy snacks such as fresh fruit and lower calorie options, instead of standard vending machine fare
- Have a “biggest loser” or other weight loss contest
- Bring in a third party weight loss program to guide, track and reward your employee’s weight loss
- Enter into bike rides, 5K's, half marathons or mud runs to inspire employees to get into shape (boosts team morale and helps raise money for charity)
- Provide access to smoking cessation programs
There are so many different resources available to help your employees get healthier. Here are a few of those resources for employers from the American Heart Association:
Workplace Wellness Guide for Organizational Leaders - Get the stats on why workplace fitness creates a win-win for your employees and your bottom line. Download presentations, tips and more.
Worksite Wellness Kit - The American Heart Association’s Worksite Wellness Kit encourages companies to give employees an excuse to get away from their desks
Fit-Friendly Worksites - Learn the benefits of working at a Fit-Friendly Worksite.
Do you have any ideas that have worked for your company and would like to share them below? CPP would love to hear your ideas and share them with others.