Improve Your Health = Be a Better Employee?

May 28, 2013 / Michael M. Siegel, MD

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Photo credit: womanaroundtown.com

Skip the gym to log extra hours at the office? Grab a bag of chips to eat at your desk instead of packing your lunch? While you may be ditching healthy habits in an effort to climb the corporate ladder, you should consider recent findings from Brigham Young University. In 2012, researchers at BYU found that the most productive, and in turn profitable, employees were the ones that maintained a healthy diet and were active on a regular basis.

The research indicated that employees with an unhealthy diet were 66 percent more likely to report having a loss in productivity as opposed to healthy eaters. Similarly, employees who only exercised on occasion were 50 percent more likely to report lower levels of productivity versus their more active colleagues. Researchers described this act – being present at work while not performing optimally – as “presenteeism” – which ultimately costs employers two to three times more than annual health care expenses. The study suggests that eating healthy and exercising allows us fewer distractions, such as health ailments, and provides us with a clear mind to focus on the task at hand. Additionally, it highlights the importance of bringing healthy meals and snacks to the workplace and making time to exercise, whether it be before or after work or during the lunch hour.

Do you notice an improvement in your work performance when you take care of your health?