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Healthy workers = Productivity

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Employees that are overweight are at an increased risk of developing serious health complications. These conditions cause the employers health insurance to be bumped up into the "high-risk pool" and it can cost them thousands of extra dollars a year in health insurance. If employees are healthy, they are more productive. This is a proven fact and employers are doing anything and everything to get their employees to lose some weight so they can be more productive and an asset to the company.

Healthy employees are happier and more productive. When people are happy and satisfied with their jobs, the amount of turnover decreases and people are less likely to take sick leave. Here are some surprising statistics about healthy workers and productivity:

  • Employees in poor health take 9 more days of sick leave over healthy employees

  • Employees in good health are 3 times more productive than employees in poor health

  • Employees that exercise on a daily basis are more alert during work hours and they are less likely to get tired during the workday

  • Healthy employees are able to concentrate more on their jobs and the make 60% fewer errors than employees in poor health

  • If an employee will exercise at least once a week, they will reduce their average number of sick days from 10 to 5

Those statistics are pretty impressive, especially since weight is a controllable factor. What is really sad is that about 70 percent of health care costs are directly related to controllable factors like weight and smoking. Since people can control these factors, employers are becoming more focused on reducing the weight of their obese workers.

Employers can motivate employees to lose weight by increasing their health insurance costs. Several companies have done this and it is working wonders for them. The plan is to give employees a few months to drop the weight and get into a healthy weight range. If they don't do this, they will have to pay an extra $20 or more a month to maintain their health insurance. Companies that use this program have found that this motivates their employees to lose the weight because they really don't want to pay more money in health care costs.

Another way to motivate employees to lose weight is to offer them something positive in return like a financial incentive or day off work. People will do just about anything for money and they are likely to drop 50 pounds or more if they know there is a big cash prize waiting for them. Sadly, 50 percent of American adults are not physically active. This is causing people to have shorter life spans and it also reduces the amount of time they have to spend with their loved ones. People that do not exercise are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Employers can help their employees lose weight by removing the junk food from the office. If its not there, their employees won't snack on it. They can also help them get in some exercise while at work by offering treadmill desks and exercise balls. Encourage your employees to go outside and walk during their lunch break or even for 15 minutes during a regular break. Try offering big giveaways like a bicycle or elliptical machine for employees that meet their goals or for employees that lose some weight. Install some bicycle racks for people to encourage them to ride their bike to work instead of using their cars. You may even consider offering a yoga or aerobic class once or twice a week for your staff members.

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Posted by DF
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