productivity for employees

Should You Care What Your Employees Eat and If They Workout?

Should you Care What Your Employees Eat and If They Workout?

You offer health insurance, life insurance, and maybe quality disability insurance for your employees, but you should you care what your employees eat or if they workout?

vegetarian-diet-plan

Research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Brigham Young University and the Center for Health Research at Healthways shows “presenteeism”, or being at work but not performing at optimal levels, damages workplace efficiency. These inefficiencies are created by employees not eating healthy or working out regularly. The inefficiency of presenteeism and absenteeism causes lost production that costs businesses billions in operations costs annually.

The study found some of the following statistics:

  • Absenteeism was 27% lower for workers who ate healthy and regularly exercised vs those who didn’t.
  • Performance of workers who ate healthy and regularly exercised was 11% higher than those were are obese.
  • 66% of employees with an unhealthy diet were more likely to report lost productivity vs those with a healthy diet
  • Healthy snacks actually increase productivity, 93% of those who claim to not eat healthy snacks lose productivity.
einstein-and-his-blackboard

This seems difficult, but it isn’t. Helping your employees live healthy lives in and outside the workplace will make your business more efficient.

Other Factors (from numerous studies):

  • A Duke University study shows that obese workers file twice as many workers’ compensation claims, cost seven times as much, and miss 13 times more days of work.
  • Obese men take almost 6 more sick days than their healthier counterparts, obese women take an additional 9 more sick days.

Solutions:

  • Hire a Sports Nutritionist/Fitness Coach (Like me!) to give 30 minute class during lunch on healthy eating and healthy lifestyle changes. Having these sessions once a month can help educate employees on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Healthy snack options. My wife and I teach our clients that snacks can make or break a diet. Most dieters think they need to stay away from snacks, but we find that snacks are a necessity and will prevent you from binge eating. Having almonds, cashews, fruits, and vegetables available in your break-room/kitchen will give your staff the opportunity to refuel for dollars a day. A bunch of bananas can feed 6-8 people and only cost you less than $2.00.
  • Gym memberships are great benefits for your employees. Many gyms will give you a nice discount if you enroll your office all at once.
  • Weight loss contests are great incentives for people to get healthier around the office. Prizes such as Apple Watches or Fitbits will encourage employees to continue tracking their health.

Summary:

To become  fully efficient in today’s business, companies must take care of employees. The paradigm must be broken and businesses must attempt to change or at least show that they care about the well being of the employees by teaching sound nutrition advice. The studies show that healthier employees are more productive and have less absences. Businesses will have more productive employees who will live fuller and longer lives with nutrition and lifestyle enrichment programs that may not cost the employer much compared to the net benefit of utilization.

To debate more about this topic, or to contact me directly, email me: nutritiontrain@yahoo.com.

About the author: 

Dustin Holston is a personal trainer and sports nutritionist from West Virginia. During the day he is a Legal Administrator running a regional law firm in Charleston. Dustin completed his MBA from Marshall University and has 15 years experience managing insurance agencies, banks, and law firms. Dustin and his wife have a love of fitness and nutrition and spend much of their time volunteering and making workout plans and diet plans for those trying to lose weight (for free).

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Sources:

Diet may affect workplace productivity, Mother Nature Network, http://www.mnn.com/money/green-workplace/blogs/diet-may-affect-workplace-productivity. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.

Duke Study Says Obese Workers File More Worker Compensation Claims, Fowler Insurance, fowlerinsure.com/2017/01/16/duke-study-says-obese-workers-file-more-worker-compensation-claims/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.

Eric A. Finkelstein, Marco daCosta DiBonaventura, Somali M. Burgess and Brent C. Hale. “The Costs of Obesity in the Workplace.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 52(10):971-976, October 2010.

You Are What You Eat…. Even At Work, Business News Daily, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3699-healthy-eating-worker-productivity.html. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.