A business is only as healthy as its workforce. When employees of a business are always calling in sick, missing hours and days, and performing poorly because of health issues it has a direct impact on a business.
It is important to take note that the workplace has a crucial role to play in employee health. With more than ten million Australians spending an average of eight hours each working day in their place of work, it is easy to see why it has such a huge impact.
In a private study conducted by Medibank, it was revealed that the healthiest employees in Australia are three times more productive than those who are not. While that might be conventional wisdom for some, the study has come up with an actual figure and it is pretty significant.
The study that was conducted by Medibank has brought to light some interesting statistics on employee health in the workplace. It is actually interesting to cite some of the statistics that came from the study. These statistics compare the performances of healthy and unhealthy workers:
A healthy worker will only use up 2 days of annual sick leave, will have 143 hours worked per month, and a self-assessed Work performance rating of 8.5 out of 10. An unhealthy worker on the other hand will have 18 days of annual sick leave, 49 hours worked per month and a self-assessed Work performance rating of 3.7 out of 10.
6 Factors Contributing to Poor Health of Workers
You now have a clearer idea as to why employee health is crucial for any company. After seeing those statistics, you should know why striving to keep everyone healthy is of paramount importance.
Here are the leading six factors that contribute to poor worker health. See what you can do about these factors:
1. Exercise or the Lack of it
Most workers do not get enough exercise. This is true even in a country like Australia, which is known for the outdoors and outdoor activities. People simply do not get enough physical exercise and that has a direct negative impact in their health.
It is recommended by the National Australian Activity Guidelines that adults perform at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days if not every day. That amount of physical activity can help prevent several kinds of diseases and overcome stress.
2. Bad Eating Habits
Eating is a rushed activity these days. Many people no longer sit down and stop in order to have a full meal. They rush through most the meals without eating properly.
Full meals are replaced with fast-food and snacks which are not healthy by any standard. People rely on instant meals and no longer eat the recommended five servings of fruits daily.
3. Weight Gain
A study that was conducted on a global scale showed that obesity has doubled in recent years and that Australia is one of the leading countries in the trend. Of particular concern is the fact that almost 60% of Australian workers are overweight.
Obesity can have very negative effects on a worker’s performance. It can reduce productivity significantly. It can also lead to higher compensation claims.
There are so many things that can cause stress in the workplace. Personal failure, long hours, uncertain employment conditions, workplace relationships, and inability to reach targets can all be factors that could lead to stress.
Stress can lead workers to engage in activities like smoking, drinking, and taking of drugs which can have negative effects on health.
5. Lack of Sleep
People who lack sleep are likelier to take sick leaves. The lack of sleep can also lead to accidents as it could impair the thought process of a person.
6. Lack of Hygiene
If a workplace lacks adequate hygiene that can lead to the spreading of different diseases. Bacteria and virus can thrive in places that are not properly cleaned. To maintain maximum productivity of employees a workplace should be properly cleaned at all times.
Steps Employers Can Take
It’s obvious that employee health has a direct effect on their performance and because of that; employees should do their best in order to provide a healthy workplace. They should implement a workplace health program.
A workplace health program promotes the health and well-being of employees while in the workplace. It promotes a healthy culture within a company.
Here are some of the things that employers can do in order to promote a healthier workplace:
Focus Your Health Program on Certain Areas
While a health program should cover everything concerning the health of your employees you need to be more specific as to what it would actually cover. These areas should include nutrition, exercise, stopping health risk behaviors, and improving hygiene.
Get to Know the Workers and Their Needs
In order for a company health program to be successful it should actually serve a purpose and it can only do that if you have some knowledge about the people that will be using it and their needs. If you have to then you must bring in specialized people like nutritionists and trainers.
Create and Implement Programs
Employee health programs should have clear and achievable goals. If your program aims to improve the food choices of employees then it should include measures to replace the food options available to employees in the workplace.
It is not enough that you create a program; it should also be properly implemented. Give them some motivation and offer rewards to top performers.
Room for improvement
Don’t expect your workplace to become healthier one overnight. Employees would not become healthy just because of some measure that you took. It would take time, but that is okay.
Evaluate how well your employee program is working and take measures for improvement.
If you are still looking for ways that you can improve the health of employees in your workplace, Alsco can provide some help. With their trusted services such as their cost-effective workplace washroom and hand hygiene solutions, Alsco is a name that you can turn to.