How Obesity is Killing Productivity

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A happy, healthy workforce should be every employer’s priority. When employees are preoccupied with health-related stress, it can be a major drain on their morale and productivity. The fiscal impact and loss of overall productivity due to health concerns is massive: employees with chronic health issues miss a total of 450 million additional days per work each year, compared to healthy workers

One of the most problematic issues facing the workforce today is obesity-related.

Two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or struggle with obesity, so it’s a topic that has a real, tangible impact on lives and corporate productivity.

Here are some of the ways obesity is damaging to employee health and how it can impact productivity:

Breathing Problems

Breathing problems, including sleep apnea, can disrupt sleep patterns which in turn results in employees coming to the office tired and unfocused. This leads to difficulty concentrating, which can cause employees to make mistakes that either go unchecked or must be corrected later, resulting in a loss of time and resources.

High blood pressure

Obesity is linked to hypertension (high blood pressure) in about a quarter of overweight individuals. In addition to arterial damage, untreated high blood pressure can have catastrophic results, such as sudden heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or liver failure.

Lack of Energy

Obesity and lack of exercise can lead to depleted energy levels that will cause productivity to dip throughout the day. Employees might reach for a sugary snack or caffeine-laden beverage to get a boost, but this just continues the cycle and doesn’t address the underlying issue.

Type-2 Diabetes

In addition to the non-stop stress of having to constantly monitor one’s blood sugar, those with Type-2 diabetes must be diligent about when and what they eat. When their minds are preoccupied with timing their meals and snacks, they’re not concentrating on the work at hand.

Infertility

For some women, obesity can inhibit the chances of getting pregnant, which can be a difficult issue for those looking to start families. This can lead to general stress, preoccupation, or lost time for additional fertility-related medical visits.

Doctor’s Visits

Chronic health conditions mean that more people are out of the office and spending more time at the doctor’s office for a myriad of obesity-related problems. Doctor’s visits can take hours away from your employees’ workdays and the stress and frustration that an unfavorable diagnosis can stress employees and pull their attention away from their work.

Employee health is the #1 priority for any business, but the compounding issues that accompany obesity can be a slow drain on how well employees perform their jobs. This lack of solid performance can also create a dissatisfactory cycle for employees themselves, many of whom derive a sense of personal satisfaction from a job well done. Encourage healthy habits in your workplace and assist employees who are looking to trim their waistlines and improve their health. When a business has healthy employees, everybody wins.

 

Sources:

http://www.obesitycampaign.org/obesity_facts.asp

http://www.obesityaction.org/educational-resources/resource-articles-2/obesity-related-diseases/hypertension-and-obesity-how-weight-loss-affects-hypertension

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