Health & Wellness

Happy and Healthy Employees Don’t Take Sick Days

Happy and Healthy Employees Don’t Take Sick Days

One thing I have learned as an employer (and appreciated as an employee) is that if you want your employees to come to work keep them healthy and if you want to have them come to work AND produce keep them healthy AND happy.

Unhappiness among workers in the United States has been estimated to cost a whopping $300 billion a year in lost productivity. A recent study shows that Americans are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, their work environment, work responsibility and their employers. This invariably leads to a drop in productivity and an increase in absenteeism. How one feels about their job has a profound effect on workers’ creativity, productivity and commitment.

The research shows that a healthy lifestyle will not only keep your employees coming to work but make them more productive as well.

  • Normal-weight men miss an average of 3.0 days each year due to illness or injury
  • In comparison, overweight and obese men (BMI 25-35), miss approximately 2 more work days per year than normal-weight men, a 56% increase in missed days
  • Normal-weight women miss an average of 3.4 days each year due to illness or injury
  • In comparison obese women (BMI of 30-40) miss between 5.2 and 8.2 days a year which is up to a 141% increase in missed days
  • Workers who ate healthy the entire day were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
• Workers who ate five or more servings of fruit and vegetables on four or more days in a week were 20 percent more likely to have higher job performance.
• Workers who exercised for 30 or more minutes on three or more days a week were 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance.

Here are some ways you can help your employees be more productive at work:

  • Make health and wellness a priority in your office. Develop and Institute a workplace wellness program…offer healthy food options at work, bring in a fitness instructor or massage therapist weekly to offer wellness services at the office. Invest in a gym membership or other fitness membership for your employees. Studies show that a workplace wellness program could offset $1 trillion a year in lost worker productivity.
  • Find out what motivates your employees and tap into that. Workers will be more productive if they feel their work has meaning. Ask staff for input on current or future projects. Everyone from the board room to the cleaning staff have opinions and people like to feel they are being heard. People are happier and can do more when they feel that they are contributing to a worthwhile purpose.
  • Encourage your staff to use their allotted vacation time. Personal decompression is crucial in maintaining a healthy balance of work and play. Time away rejuvenates the mind and body, and they will return refreshed and energized. Sometimes getting away from work is the best way to make us more productive when we are there.

Working adults spend more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else. Work should enhance, not kill, the human spirit.

Making your staff’s health and happiness a priority will not only improve their creativity, commitment and productivity but it will keep them loyal and supportive. Aren’t those the kind of employees we set out to find in the first place.

Christa Gurka
the authorChrista Gurka
Christa Gurka -
Not Your Average Pilates Instructor - Is an orthopedic physical therapist specializing in Pilates-based fitness, rehabilitation, injury prevention and weight loss, Christa Gurka’s reputation speaks for itself. With two decades of experience training those of all ages and fitness levels, the founder/owner of Miami’s Pilates in the Grove believes in offering her clients personal attention with expert and well-rounded instruction.