by Lindsay Vastola

The success of your company is intrinsically tied to the productivity of your employees; your employees’ productivity is intrinsically tied to their health. Companies (of all sizes) may not fully appreciate the very real and direct impact their staff’s health has on profits and productivity. There is no time better than now to shift the mindset, invest in wellness programs, and curtail these substantial rising costs.

A 2010 study by Duke University measured the financial consequences of medical costs, lost productivity, and missed work due to health problems. The findings? Obesity costs the U.S. economy upwards of $73.1 billion, and obese employees with a Body Mass Index of over 35 account for 61 percent of the total employer healthcare costs related to obesity (obesity is categorized as a BMI over 30).

Absenteeism isn’t the only issue companies are facing as a result of obesity-related issues. Employers are facing the consequences of “presenteeism”: employees at work but not being productive as a result of the cycles of inactivity, poor eating habits, high levels of stress, and negative mindset that inevitably seeps into the corporate culture and taints employee morale; the antithesis of success.

It’s time to seriously understand the consequences of an unhealthy staff and consider investments in wellness programs as a mandatory line item in your budget, not a fringe benefit. Investing in preemptive programs proven to have tangible returns are more predictable than the direct and indirect costs of conditions preventable with healthier lifestyles.

Corporate wellness programs should be completely customizable to the dynamics of your company. Programs can be as simple as offering a lunch-and-learn seminar on a topic such as “Staying Healthy at a Desk Job” or a series of workshops offered periodically on how to eat better, exercise more effectively, and attain a success-driven mindset. Group fitness programs can create friendly competition among your staff, building team spirit and camaraderie.

Be sure the corporate wellness program you choose is led by qualified professionals who can relate to the challenges of your employees and understand the dynamics of your company culture. They should be able to effectively design a program that is realistic for working professionals. Healthy employees are not only happier, they are more inclined to be success-driven and goal-oriented and will ultimately be more productive in contributing to the overall success of your company. Imagine your workforce working at its optimum 100 percent of the time; your success is limitless.

Lindsay Vastola, President of Body Project Fitness &Lifestyle, is a fitness professional and lifestyle coach for success-driven professionals. Learn more about Lindsay’s corporate wellness programs and Body Project Fitness at www.LindsayVastola.com and www.BodyProjectFitness.com, 609-336-0108 or Lindsay@bodyprojectfitness.com.

Body Project Fitness. 609-336-0108. www.lindsayvastola.com, www.bodyprojectfitness.com, or Lindsay@bodyprojectfitness.com.

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