Very rarely have employees across America thought that the activities of work and exercise go hand-in-hand. But these days, that notion is beginning to change and employee health and fitness is starting to become a priority.
As the 21st century continues to unfold in its fast-paced manner, corporations are realizing that the company’s future growth is highly dependent on the health and fitness of its employees.
Every corporation struggles to maintain its niche and relevance in its market, while still caring for and appreciating its employees. But the truth is that overweight and unhealthy employees cost corporations an astronomical amount in sick days, reduced productivity, and health premiums. Corporations need to invest in healthy lifestyle 5 times more money than they are right now in order to get their maximum net profit.
For this reason, many corporations today are more aware of the benefits of having a healthy team and promoting fitness and healthy nutrition within their business practices. A growing trend within companies is to offer its employees incentives or other rewards for attending exercise classes regularly or losing weight within a given time period. Some companies are even offering partial payments for gym memberships or discounts at businesses that sell pre-packaged healthy meals.
The heightened benefits and proof of successful investment include:
- Healthier, more productive working employees
- Lower stress levels
- Lower turnover / higher employee retention rates
- Fewer sick days
- Lower insurance premiums
- Protection of a company’s greatest asset – the employee
- Higher self-esteem and a greater team-building mentality
- Increased energy and vitality in the workplace
- A more optimistic, positive attitude
- A greater eagerness to succeed and lead, along with the energy to do so
- Improvement in family life brings improvement into the workplace
- Greater community synergy, greater company synergy
Examples of the costs of an unhealthy workforce:
- Annual cost of a “healthy” diabetic: $3,150
- Average cost of a heart attack: $15,700
- Average cost of a stroke patient: ~$45,000
- Corporate wellness statistics depict a savings of $2.30 to $10.10 for every $1 spent on wellness initiatives.
Based on these statistics, we can conclude that the money corporations spend on employees’ unhealthy lifestyle is so high that it can determine the future existence of the company and standing of the employees’ job security. On the other hand, if the company did not have such astronomical health costs, that money could be used for improving the quality of the workplace, more benefits for the employees, and possible higher income.
Not only do corporations have great benefits from aiding their employees in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but employees themselves also have tremendous benefits with a healthier lifestyle:
- Stronger heart and lungs
- Increased bone density
- Reduced stress
- Weight loss
- Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
- Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
- More self-confidence
- Better sleep
- More energy, stamina and positive attitude
- Setting a good example for your kids to stay active as they get older
With this being said, corporations and the healthy lifestyle of its employees goes hand-in-hand with the healthier and more productive society of the 21st century. As we all age, physical and mental fitness is sometimes taken for granted and suddenly there is a problem that could have been rectified in a proactive manner instead of a reactive manner. Using the proactive approach of offering health and fitness guidance to employees ensures both monetary profit and emotional gain to the employer, the employee and the family unit when handled with care and respect for the wishes and best interest of both parties.
Encouraging employees to live a healthier lifestyle outside of work is a behavior that will transfer into the workplace and make an excellent environment for all concerned! The corporate benefits in net profit will mirror the benefits to the employees in “health profit.” With a healthy lifestyle – meaning physical fitness, a healthy diet and spiritual balance – we can manage, control or completely avoid 60-70% of known illnesses.