Corporate Wellness Confronts the Costs of Obesity
This blog was written by Penny Pohlmann. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Larger office furniture, larger company cars, and reinforced toilets are a few of the major costs companies are taking on to accommodate their larger employees. In fact, at a recent trade show for tech and office furniture, one company displayed its bariatric seat, designed to hold up to 600 pounds and at a cost of $1,300! The representative from Ergogenesis, the maker of this specific seat, says there is a “tremendous amount of demand.”
In a research report released by the School of Public Health and Human Services at George Washington University, it is estimated that 50 percent of the population will be obese by 2030. This means the healthcare costs associated with obesity will continue to grow as well. The study also estimated that the current overall annual cost for obese women is $4,879 and $2,646 for obese men. This estimation includes costs associated with medical care, short-term disability, absenteeism, and productivity losses.
With rising healthcare costs in the midst of an economic recession, many companies have chosen to cut benefits. However, they have kept their corporate wellness programs and incentives for employees who practice healthy behaviors.
What can your company do to invest in your employees while they’re healthy rather than when they get sick?