fitness workplace wellness

More Benefits, Cost Saves from Advancing Fitness in Workplace

We recently asked: What role does the nature of work play in designing a well-run workplace wellness program?

We noted that health wellbeing can be tied to economic wellbeing.

As the author, Nicolaas P. Pronk of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, Harvard University, writes: “The prosperity of a society is closely intertwined with the health of its citizens. The positive cor- relation between health and per capita income appears to have a direction of causality that runs both ways. Healthy and safe communities are well positioned to attract new businesses and industries, create new jobs, build economic vitality, generate community prosperity, and support global competitiveness. A healthy, vibrant community may be described as a productive community with economic vitality , including an educated, well-prepared, and trained work- force that is strong and resilient to the ongoing challenges it faces. Such a workforce has previously been described as being healthy, productive, ready, and resilient.”

Two areas on which a well-run workplace wellness program focuses included healthy diet and regular fitness. A new report indicates that these two activities may bring an additional benefit that can improve employee health and potentially help reduce health costs.

MedPage Today reports: “Eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise are lifestyle interventions commonly recommended to obese asthma patients to keep their asthma under control. Now research presented here suggests that they can also help normal-weight patients breathe easier.”

“Non-obese asthma patients who engaged in eight weeks of both supervised exercise and dietary intervention in the randomized, controlled trial scored 50% better than participants randomized to no intervention in the study for self-reported asthma control and quality of life.”

Interestingly, lead author Louise L. Toennesen, MD, PhD, of Bispebjerg University Hospital in Copenhagen, told MedPage Today: “Neither exercise nor diet seemed to be more important than the other.”