Addressing Obesity in Workplace Makes Good Business Sense — Here’s How

We recently reported (again) how a workplace wellness focus on obesity may help reduce health costs.

Indeed, as Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health writes: “Obesity, with its links to many chronic conditions, is a huge drain on individual as well as corporate health. It can sap productivity, worsen mobility and morale, and increase healthcare claims, sick days, and occupational injuries. Programs that focus on workplace obesity prevention have been shown to reverse these trends.”

The piece adds that the workplace is a smart place to focus on addressing obesity issues:

“Work is a reality of life for the vast majority of people across the globe, and little apart from sleep consumes as much time in people’s days. As with school in youth, the workplace is very much a microcosm of the adult world-filled with elements that promote health as well as elements that diminish it. This makes the workplace an ideal, focused, and efficient avenue for improving health and tackling many of the key contributors to the obesity epidemic.”

Why does this makes sense? Harvard writes: “Businesses are always striving to push productivity and curb costs, and many companies-small and large-are realizing that obesity prevention and workplace health promotion programs can have an excellent return on investment. A healthier and happier workforce is also one that helps keep healthcare spending low and productivity high. It’s a win-win that we can’t overlook.”

To help businesses, the School of Public Health offers its “Worksite Obesity Prevention Recommendations: Complete List.” Among the topics covered:

  • “Adding Food and Fitness to Worksite Wellness”
  • “Giving Incentives for Healthy Behavior”
  • “Creating a Healthy Worksite Food Environment”
  • “Promoting Physical Activity at Work”

The site also provides a wide range of research reports and studies to support each of the topics covered.