It’s no secret that America has an overweight and obesity problem. Exercise at work could be the best way to get many people moving and losing weight.
Many people have been conditioned to think that going to the gym and getting on a diet is the only solution. However, this can be an inefficient and arduous process, and today we’ll share the scope of the problem, and why workplace personal training can help you prevent future pain, medical cost, and lost time.
Obesity in the US
35.3% of all adults aged 20-74 have obesity and are costing $117 billion a year in medical expenses as of 2015 (1). Obesity and overweight have accounted for 27% of the growth in inflation-adjusted health care spending in the United States from 1987 to 2001.
The Health Affairs article, “Public Health and Business, a Partnership the Makes Cents,” argues that all businesses and public health agencies share a common interest in having a healthy population.
In California alone, the issues of physical inactivity, obesity, and being overweight cost the combined public and private sectors an estimated $10.2 billion in medical care, $338 million in worker’s compensation, and $11.2 billion in lost productivity in the year 2000.
There, just a five percent improvement in physical activity and healthy weight over five years would have brought an estimated $6 billion in savings (2).
Exercise at Work: Lead the Way for Healthy Workers
2015 data shows that 62% of the American population, or 157 million people, are a part of the labor force and go to work daily (3).
Additionally, it may be precisely one’s health status that keeps people out of the workforce, as economist Alan Kruger reports that among men who are not in the workforce, 43 percent say their health is fair or poor, versus only 12 percent of employed men, and 16 percent of unemployed men (4).
This presents an incredible opportunity for businesses to be at the forefront of efforts to combat the culture of obesity and being overweight, beginning with their own employees and project teams, moving the nation from a mindset of correcting sickness to one that builds wellness (5).
Empowering businesses to lead the way in exercise at work & preventing and correcting the factors underlying obesity and being overweight is a win-win proposition for all parties involved.
Supermarket chain H-E-B estimates that their wellness programs will yield returns of as much as six times their investment by moving just 10% of its employees from high- and medium-risk to low-risk status.
Johnson and Johnson have estimated that their wellness programs have saved the company $250 million on healthcare costs in the past decade and, from 2002 to 2008, saw a return of $2.71 for every dollar spent (6).
Additionally, investing in wellness can yield dividends for increased retention and higher employee satisfaction.
At the Biltmore tourism enterprise, voluntary turnover dropped from 19% in 2005 to 9% in 2009 due to their wellness programs, and according to their director of benefits and compensation Vicki Banks, “Employees who participate in our wellness programs do not leave.”
And in exit interviews at Nelnet, the number one thing people said they would miss is the wellness programs (6).
Workplace Personal Training Solutions
At Golden Home Fitness, we partner with companies to provide Premier, Professional, and Precise workplace personal training on-site.
So while we focus on improving the health and fitness of employees, the company can focus on increasing impact and profitability. We start all individuals with a complimentary workout and partner with companies to add value to their on-site fitness facilities while empowering people to live longer, fuller lives.
This article was originally written by Coach Will H. Hansen and has been repurposed and published here by the author.
- Health Affairs Datagraphic (Overweight and Obesity) https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1110
- Simon and Feilding, Public Health And Business: A Partnership That Makes Cents: https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/full/10.1377/hlthaff.25.4.1029
- Graham: Labor Force Participation http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/07/october-1977-labor-force-participation/397595/
- Semuels: Maybe the Economy Isn’t the Reason Why So Many American Men Aren’t Working https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/mortality-of-american-men-and-the-labor-force/520329/
- Rowan and Harishanker: What Great Corporate Wellness Programs Do https://hbr.org/2014/03/what-great-corporate-wellness-programs-do
- Berry, Mirabito, and Baun: HBR Employee Wellness Hard Return https://hbr.org/2010/12/whats-the-hard-return-on-employee-wellness-programs