Sleep workplace wellness

Study Addresses ‘Association Between Employee Sleep With Workplace Health and Economic Outcomes’

We reported recently on the business costs of insufficient sleep.

In that post, we noted that Rand released a report titled “Why sleep matters — the economic costs of insufficient sleep.” Among the report findings:

  • “The US sustains by far the highest economic losses (up to $411 billion a year) due to the size of its economy, followed by Japan (up to $138 billion a year). However, the relative numbers show that the estimated loss for Japan is actually higher than for the US (between 1.56 to 2.28 per cent for the US and 1.86 per cent to 2.92 per cent for Japan, respectively), with the UK (1.36 per cent to 1.86 per cent), Germany (1.02 per cent to 1.56 per cent) and Canada (0.85 per cent to 1.56 per cent) following behind.”
  • “On an annual basis, the US loses an equivalent of about 1.23 million working days due to insufficient sleep. This is followed by Japan, which loses on average 604 thousand working days per year. The UK and Germany have similar working time lost, with 207 thousand and 209 thousand days, respectively. Canada loses about 78 thousand working days.”

Now a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine looks at the “Association Between Employee Sleep With Workplace Health and Economic Outcomes.”

The study “examines health risks, medical conditions, and workplace economic outcomes associated with self-reported hours of sleep among employees.”

To make its determination: “Employees of a global financial services corporation were categorized on the basis of their self-reported average hours of sleep. Differences in health care costs, productivity measures, health risks, and medical conditions were analyzed by hours of sleep while controlling for confounding variables.”

The results: “A strong U-shaped relationship between health care costs, short-term disability, absenteeism, and presenteeism (on-the-job work loss) and the hours of sleep was found among employees. The nadir of the “U” occurs for 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night.”

The conclusion was clear: “Worksite wellness programs often address health risks and medical conditions and may benefit from incorporating sleep education.”