Employee Health Across the Nation

 Office Job Takes Toll

What do we know about employee health across the nation? According to a national survey of employees, our workforce is adversely affected by poor nutrition, a lack of exercise, stress, and lack of attention to overall well-being.

An Office Job Takes a Toll on Our Health

It is not a pretty picture….


· Majority of employees do not get regular exercise

· One of five employees smoke

· One-third of all employees eat one or fewer servings of a fruit or vegetable daily

· One-third reported regularly feeling sad, tense, nervous, angry or hostile at work 


· Almost a third reported high blood pressure

· One-quarter reported high cholesterol

· One-quarter reported back pain

· One-third show signs of, or self-reports, clinical depression

· Two-thirds are overweight or obese

Diabesity: How Many of Your Employees Are Affected?

· Obesity is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. Gaining just 11-16 pounds doubles the risk of type 2 diabetes; gaining 17-24 pounds triples the risk.

· Diabetes impacts corporate Americans BIG TIME. It accounts for 15 million work days absent, 120 million work days with reduced performance, and 107 million work days lost to unemployment disability. The greatest loss of productivity from absenteeism is among males age 45-53 years.

· Diabesity, a colloquial term which refers to the spectrum of health problems caused by being overweight, ranges from mild insulin resistance to obesity and diabetes. Diabesity is caused almost entirely by lifestyle and environmental factors.

· Diabesity is among the leading causes of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, dementia, cancer, liver disease, neurological damage, blindness, kidney failure, gum disease and premature death.

· By 2020, it is expected to affect 1 in every 2 Americans.

· Between 2000-2010, obesity and diabetes have cost more than $3 trillion, over 3 times the cost of fixing the entire health care system.

· These diseases can be prevented, treated and if not fully reversed, managed to eliminate significant morbidity through four major interventions:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical Activity
  • Stress management
  • Limiting exposure to environmental and food based toxins

Employee Priorities

Losing weight is the top health concern for almost half of all American workers, jumping 10% from last year’s survey. This was followed by their desire to reduce and/or better manage stress and to improve their diets.


- Hyman MD, Mark. The Blood Sugar Solution. Little Brown and Company, NY. 2012.
- “The State of Health of the American Workforce”, Families and Work Institute, 2011; ComPsych Wellness Survey, 2012
- FoxNews, February 29, 2012 http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/02/29/almost half-us-workers-say-weight-is-biggest-health-concern/