Wellness programs increasingly necessary as public health worsens

An article on BusinessWeek.com has underscored the necessity of employee wellness programs as public health gets worse – especially in terms of obesity – and Americans spend more time at their desks.

The Society of Actuaries reports that businesses risk a total loss of $127 billion due to excess medical care stemming from overweight or obesity, and an additional $49 billion in lost productivity caused by early death, the article states.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that an estimated one-fourth of people in the U.S. get no physical activity, the U.N. International Labour Organization says that Americans work more hours than any other industrialized nation.

The CDC is also using the recently-coined medical term ‘obesogenic’ to describe modern American society. The adjective refers to a culture wherein people consume vast quantities of unhealthy food while leading sedentary lifestyles.

The Business Week article says that organizations may help halt this unhealthy trend by implementing employee wellness programs that include tools and resources to help workers get in optimal physical shape.

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