There's a growing trend in which businesses are offering perks to employees to encourage healthy living and improved worker efficiency, including subsidized health club memberships, onsite gyms, basketball and volleyball courts, yoga classes, health seminars, flexible work schedules and monetary bonuses. These incentives often help employees kick bad habits in exchange for some healthy ones.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, many of the leading causes of disability and premature death in the United States are potentially avoidable or controllable, including most injuries. Several acute and chronic conditions and many forms of heart disease and some cancers can also be possibly avoided or controlled. The causes of premature death are linked to personal behavior that may either contribute to poor health or disease development. For example, tobacco accounts for 19 percent of total deaths while diet and activity patterns account for 14 percent of total deaths. An individual's habits, or lack thereof, directly affect the death rate.
Employees with multiple risk factors for disease (e.g., high blood pressure, smoking, and sedentary habits) are more likely to be high-cost employees in terms of healthcare use, absenteeism, disability, and overall decreased productivity. On the other hand, employees with good health habits-especially those who also have healthy families-are likely to incur lower medical costs and be more productive.
For obvious reasons, companies are acting on this information and quickly rearranging furniture to accommodate workout machines and restocking kitchens to offer employees healthy snack options. The focus on healthy living within the company culture encourages a more energetic workforce and improved morale among employees. The CEOs at Gibbs Die Casting, Nicoat and National Gypsum Corporation are strong advocates for healthy living and have partnered with EnergyFirst to offer their employees quality nutritional supplements. By enjoying the nutritional benefits of EnergyFirst's ProEnergy Natural Whey Protein Isolate, Greenergy and OmegaEnergy Fish Oil, employees are feeling healthier and getting lean.
By simply modifying a few habits employees can improve their health and productivity, which is good news for everyone. The major benefits of encouraging employees to set healthy goals and maintain an exercise plan include the following:
- Enhances morale around the office
- Employees become more productive
- Gives individuals an overall sense of well-being
- Relieves depression
- Helps workers lead balanced lives
- Reduces stress
- Improves moods
- Increases ROI for companies
Companies that invest in their employees' health know that it's an investment in human capital, resulting in higher employee retention and improved physical and mental performance. Employees are also likely to be attracted to and value a company that obviously values them. In short, a company's productivity depends on employee health.