Full-time workers in the U.S. who are overweight or obese and have other chronic health conditions miss an estimated 450 million additional days of work each year compared with healthy workers — resulting in an estimated cost of more than $153 billion in lost productivity annually.
Now, you understand why American companies have wellness programs in the workplace.
The $153 billion in annual lost productivity costs linked to unhealthy workers in the United States is more than four times the cost found in the United Kingdom. The striking difference is the result of fewer unhealthy workers in the U.K. About 14% of full-time U.S. workers are of a normal weight and have no chronic illness, compared with 20% in the U.K.
The high percentages of full-time U.S. workers who have less than ideal health are a significant drain on productivity for U.S. businesses. However, employees and employers have the opportunity to potentially increase productivity if they address the health issues that are currently plaguing the workplace.
The $153 billion in lost productivity estimated in this analysis would increase if it included presenteeism, which is when employees go to work but are less productive in their jobs because of poor health or wellbeing. Including part-time employees would also add to the estimate of costs in lost productivity. Other research that has examined a broader array of factors using a somewhat different list of chronic conditions places the economic effect of lost productivity at $1.1 trillion per year.
It is of benefit to the American economy as well as the populace to address health issues = a better diet and regular exercise.