How Employers Can Help Promote Workers’ Healthier Lifestyles

July 18, 2018 Debra Auerbach

Those birthday donuts, team potlucks and office candy jars may have a positive impact on morale – but a negative impact on workers’ waistlines.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 57 percent of U.S. workers believe they are overweight, and 45 percent think they’ve gained weight at their present job. Twenty-six percent of workers say they gained more than 10 pounds at their current job; 1 in 10 gained more than 20 pounds.

What’s Contributing to Weight Gain?
While an overabundance of food in the office is one reason why workers may gain weight, other environmental and workplace factors are also causing them to pack on points. When surveyed about what they think contributes to weight gain at work, workers who have gained weight said:

  • Sitting at a desk most of the day (53 percent)
  • Too tired from work to exercise (49 percent)
  • Eating because of stress (41 percent)
  • No time to exercise before or after work (34 percent)
  • The temptation of the office candy jar (21 percent)
  • Eating out regularly (21 percent)
  • Workplace celebrations (13 percent)
  • Having to skip meals because of time constraints (12 percent)
  • Happy hours (6 percent)
  • Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in (6 percent)

What Does This Mean For You?
Healthier employees lead to a more productive workforce, so employers should take steps to promote health and wellness both inside and outside the office. According to the study, 61 percent of workers say their employers do not offer wellness benefits, but if offered, 37 percent believe they would take advantage of them.

Yet, it’s not enough to just offer these added benefits to your employees - you need to be actively promoting them. If employees aren’t aware they’re available or aren’t using them, they’re missing out on living a healthier lifestyle, and you’re wasting money on unused benefits. 

“Ten percent of employees are not sure if their employer offers wellness benefits,” says Michael Erwin, senior career advisor at CareerBuilder. “Focusing on education of these types of benefits goes a long way to not only improve the overall health of the workforce, but can help with retention of talent.” 

Here are six steps to get employees to use their benefits.


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