People hoping to achieve longevity on the job should pay especial attention to how they manage stress, along with nutrition and other health-related issues, according to a report from the TowersWatson consulting firm.
The report identifies key issues that companies focus on in programs aimed at keeping employees healthy, an initiative that the federal government has touted in recent years, as well. Such programs are designed to benefit employees but also benefit employers by reducing turnover caused by employees who are simply too unhealthy to continue working.
“Stress, obesity, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition and tobacco use, the five biggest challenges identified by employers, align with 80% of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the world, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer and stroke,” it noted.
However, it added that like the federal government, many employers are making only limited progress in getting employees involved in programs such as walking challenges, nutrition tracking and education, and smoking cessation. It cited several factors, including distrust by employees that the employer will keep health related information confidential and poor communication by the employer regarding the benefits of such programs to their working careers and personal lives, as well as their personal health care related expenses.
It added that stress is cited by employers in all countries and regions it studied as the number one employee health issue, followed in the U.S. by obesity, lack of physical activity, poor nutrition and tobacco use. In Europe, for example, tobacco use ranks number two while in the Asia Pacific region the number two concern is lack of physical activity.