How to Inspire a Healthy and Happy IT Department

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 03-19-2014 Email

Do your organization's managers simply pay lip service when it comes to health initiatives for employees? If so, they're making a business mistake. Obesity and other major diseases cost employers up to $93 billion per year in health insurance claims, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (For a company with 1,000 employees, the cost of obesity amounts to $277,000 per year, the CDC reports.) Beyond this, businesses will pay more due to absenteeism, disabilities and reduced work output than they would on direct health-care costs as a result of an unhealthy workforce. Clearly, there's a tangible ROI for wellness programs and other efforts to encourage staffers to eat properly and stay active. And if you need further proof in supporting such endeavors, look no further than these results of a recent survey from Aon Hewitt, the National Business Group on Health and The Futures Company. Findings reveal that employees at companies with strong health cultures are less stressed, happier and more active than those at organizations with a poor health culture. "Many employees recognize the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, but may not have the time or motivation to take action," says Joann Hall Swenson, health engagement leader at Aon Hewitt. "Organizations that foster a strong culture of health—through leading by example and encouraging healthy activities—will cultivate a workforce that demonstrates better health behaviors and is more actively engaged." To give CIOs guidance about how to get started, Aon Hewitt offers best practices as well, which we're including here. For more about the survey, click here.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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