Common risk factors such as smoking, risky alcohol consumption, unhealthy eating habits, low levels of physical activity and obesity may be caused by outside factors as well as work factors, but the bottom line is that they all impact on work safety and business outcomes.
Research has found that workers who are regularly exposed to hazardous working conditions, physically demanding tasks, high levels of stress and long working hours are more likely to consume risky levels of alcohol, participate in low levels of physical activity, more likely to smoke and make poor nutritional choices. When you consider that worker health and wellbeing is closely linked to productivity, increased injury risk and costs to your bottom line, it is easy to see how the workplace and health of your workers can contribute to the development of chronic diseases, musculoskeletal disorders and psychological illness.
Did you know that obese or overweight employees have an increased risk of injury? They are more likely to experience slips, trips, falls and musculoskeletal injuries. If any of your workforce suffer from sleep apnoea (a condition strongly associated with obesity), they have an increased risk of a motor vehicle accident (if that is what we mean). Also, recovery from an injury takes longer for unhealthy and obese workers – the average hospital stay is significantly longer than those colleagues that are within the healthy weight range.
Healthier workers are almost three times more productive than their unhealthy counterparts and workers with medium-high health risks are three times more likely to file a workers compensation claim! Any employees who are carrying excess weight and engaging in low levels of physical activity are more likely to be less productive and take more sick leave. On average 6.5 working days of productivity are lost per year, per employee as a result of presenteeism (when employees come to work but are not fully productive).
Is it time to implement changes and offer healthy lifestyle and injury prevention solutions at your workplace?
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