Emotional and Physical Health of Workforce Needs Improvement

As every HR person knows, the emotional and physical health of your employees, has an immense impact on the productivity of your organization. So how are your employees doing? According to ComPsych’s “Wellness Report: Employee Stress and Life Changes Are Impacting Well-Being,” not so well. If the overall health of your staff is any indication of the future of your organization, it’s time you invest in an employee wellness package, if you haven’t already.

Everybody knows today’s workforce is out of shape, overweight, and unhealthy as a result. The latest Wellness Report, tells us just how bad we really are. When it comes to getting exercise, 17% of employees get no exercise, and 31% only exercise 1-2 days a week. That means nearly half of workers, aren’t getting anywhere near the amount of exercise needed to maintain health. As far as diet goes, we are even worse. Those surveyed weren’t getting the recommended amount of servings of fruits and vegetables. 32% of those surveyed said they eat 1 serving or less, 35% said they eat 2 servings daily, and 20% said they eat 3 servings a day. That’s more than 75% of employees not even getting close to the amount of nutrients they need from fruits and vegetables. Perhaps as a result of these poor lifestyle choices, 29% have high blood pressure, 25% have high cholesterol. As anyone who eats right and exercises knows, these choices end up impacting every aspect of your life positively.

Emotional well-being is directly correlated with physical health, and employee engagement and productivity. Knowing this, some of these findings in the Wellness Report should be alarming. 52% of employees experienced a major life change in the past year. Considering, 35% said minor problems throw them for a loop, it’s easy to imagine major life changes being even more disruptive. Also effecting employees performance, is the fact that 38% can’t stop thinking about their problems. We need to change our workplace cultures to address these problems, and give employees the financial security, stability, flexibility, and resources to ensure these major and minor life changes happen as infrequently as possible. When these changes arrive, and they inevitably do, we need to have infrastructure in place so that they can pass easily and with little stress.

No matter your budget, you need to start considering employee wellness as a serious investment. As we evolve into a service economy, our employees health becomes all the more vital for the success of an organization. There are wellness programs already developed and proven successful, such as ComPsych® HealthyGuidance®, that take a complete approach to wellness, including both physical and emotional aspects. No matter what’s in your budget, or wellness plan, we need to start making changes. Subsidized gym memberships, healthy food options, and other well-rounded benefits, are all small things HR pros can do, to help make their employees healthier as a whole.


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