Ok so it’s unlikely you will be putting your Powerlifting numbers or body-fat percentage on your resume´ anytime soon, even if you are applying to an actual fitness company. But Corporate Wellness is becoming increasingly important to both employers and employees, and you should be advised about how the two tie in together.
Businesses both large and small are getting bogged down with soaring healthcare cost and losses in productivity. Research related to the obesity epidemic is educating employers on how costly obese employees are when compared to their healthier counterparts. Here are a few statistics that should peak your interest:
- Obesity costs 6x more in lost productivity than smoking
- Obese employees file 2x more medical claims
- Obese employees have 7x the medical claims costs
- Obese employees take 13x more sick days
Before we even address how these statistics affect employers and employees, can we just agree that none of us should want to fall into any of these categories? No one wants to be sick, pay more medical bills, or be the unproductive one at work (unless you want to lose your job I suppose). Anyone would be happy to avoid these circumstances when and if possible, right? But not only should individuals of all ages want to avoid these situations, but employers are becoming increasingly concerned about how your health affects their bottom line, largely because it’s costing the U.S. economy billions (yes, with a “B”).
I would love to tell you that businesses have your best interest at heart, but we all know a business has to make money to stay in business, pay its employees, and create more jobs for the rest of us. If a business discovers holes in its pockets eating away at its earnings, it will desperately find a way to rid itself of those extra costs so it can maximize profitability. Human resources has known for a long time that healthier employees are more ideal than sick ones, but what they’re learning now is just how costly sick employees can be. It has become so severe a concern that employers are realizing that if they have 2 equally qualified candidates for an open position willing to work for the same salary, the healthier employee will give them significantly more for their dollar, obviously inclining them to hire healthier employees.
Now I will be the first to admit that a smaller waistline is not a clear indication of a healthier employee, but statistically speaking it is, and it’s a difficult feature to disguise. It sounds sad to say that one might be hired (or not) for their waistline, but the research on the relationship between ones waistline and their health is all but proving that fat employees simply cost twice that of thinner ones in healthcare, and even more in lost productivity. If someone told you that you can either pay $10 for a meal, or $20 for the same meal…would you intentionally pay more?
Of course this whole scenario is purely theoretical, but everyone needs to be aware of this new ‘fitness factor’ in the job market. It behooves not only yourself to get and stay healthy for personal reasons, but your career could very well depend on it too, which means your fitness could easily determine the job you get, the money you make, and the accomplishments you achieve over the course of your career. When you think about it, your small investment of 20 minutes of rigorous exercise a day and changes in diet can reap gigantic rewards in every aspect of your life, but that’s a topic for another time.