Most Employees Face Health Challenges
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I’ve come across a few surveys recently that really got my attention. According to a Gallup – Healthways Wellbeing Index, here’s the health status of full-time employees:
13.9% are normal weight and without chronic conditions
17.9% are overweight or obese without chronic conditions
30.2% are overweight or obese with one or two chronic conditions
17.8% are overweight or obese with three or more chronic conditions
14.8% are normal weight with one or two chronic conditions
5.3% are normal weight with three or more chronic conditions
These are scary statistics for employers and our nation as a whole. Of course, some of these statistics vary with location, job position, employer, etc. Employers are beginning to realize that they should do everything possible to put a dent in these figures – not just to reduce healthcare costs, but also to reduce absenteeism and increase presenteeism, improve productivity, and more.
It’s not just employees suffering from health challenges. According to Manta, 44% of small business owners say that the poor business climate had a negative effect on their health in 2011. A third said that they exercised less; 22% said they gained weight.
This health trend has caused employees to view their benefits as on a par with their compensation. According to a Mercer Workplace Survey, 75% of employees said that as healthcare costs rise, they would rather pay more out of pocket than have their health benefits reduced. The survey also found that 61% of companies offer wellness benefits and 30% of employees say they take advantage of those benefits. Unfortunately, this might be the same 30% who try to keep themselves healthy in the first place.