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HR Insights with Ali: CDC Analyzes Workplace Health Issues

Posted on 3/29/2017 by Ali Oromchian, Esq.
According to a feature by the Centers for Disease Control, chronic disease among the American workforce is a major concern for both employers and employees. Common office health issues which the CDC classified as “chronic disease” included depression, hypertension and obesity, all of which should be considered serious health concerns by any employer.

Why Chronic Diseases Are a Problem
While no employer actively wishes ill health upon their workforce, many simply do not understand the devastating effect that chronic diseases can have upon their business. Chronic disease can negatively impact your practice in a number of ways, including:

● Reducing worker productivity

● Increasing healthcare costs

● Causing a decline in overall employee health

The Current Statistics
In the CDC's Preventing Chronic Disease, a study published in January 2014, researchers found that the overall rate of obesity among workers was 24.6%. While this number varied depending upon job type (a truck driver is more likely to have an obesity issue, than, say, an aerobics instructor), the general conclusion was that the more sedentary the job, the higher the obesity rate. The good news, however, is that “only 11.6% of those in health-diagnosing occupations, for example doctors, dentists, and veterinarians, were obese.” Still, any office can benefit from reducing their chronic disease numbers and promoting a healthy lifestyle among their staff.

What You Can Do
The CDC recommends implementing a workplace health program, which is essentially any type of workplace-based system which promotes the health of your employees. This would include offering healthy options for any office snacks and health-based educational materials. Of course, you should also be ensuring that your employees are receiving their legally-required
number of sick days, and that they are not retaliated against for using those days as necessary. HR for Health knows that a healthy office is a productive office. They are here to assist you with questions that you may have regarding sick leave and health promotions in your office, to ensure that both you and your employees are getting the assistance you need in promoting healthy lifestyles. Simply open a support ticket titled “sick leave” and we will quickly address any of your concerns.

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