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Health-conscious employees more likely to be engaged at work

A Gallup study shows that employees who eat right and exercise regularly are more enthusiastic about their job and report feeling more engaged.

Studies have shown companies that institute employee wellness programs see a drop in the level of absenteeism and reduce their insurance costs. Now, a new study by Gallup has found another reason to initiate wellness programs – workers become more engaged.

The study shows that employees who eat right and exercise regularly are more enthusiastic about their job and report feeling more engaged. In all, 59 percent of respondents who consider themselves engaged reported making healthy eating choices during the day, compared to 53 percent of those in the actively disengaged category. The results were even more conclusive when it comes to regular exercise. Fifty-four percent of engaged employees workout for at least 30 minutes a day, while just 45 percent of disengaged workers reported the same.

“Taken together, the data showcase the link between being engaged at work and leading a healthy lifestyle,” wrote the study’s authors, Daniela Yu and Jim Harter. “Since engaged employees are more likely to lead a healthy lifestyle, workplaces that actively improve engagement may end up seeing an added benefit of better employee health — the potential benefits of which include reducing healthcare costs for a company in the long term and increasing energy and productivity in the near future.”

Using reward programs to encourage healthy choices
Companies can use employee reward programs to encourage participation in wellness programs and build a health conscious culture. An article by Corporate Wellness Magazine notes that the office environment is essential to keeping participation in wellness programs high. Recognizing workers who have achieved weight loss goals, stopped smoking or completed other fitness goals help build a culture that is focused on healthy decisions.

The source recommends providing clear feedback about expectations and leading by example for supervisors looking to increase participation in wellness initiatives. Stress can be a large factor in the overall level of health within a company. Providing stress-busting activities is a good way to boost participation in the wellness programs, but the source also notes the importance of taking time out from a hectic schedule to relax and de-stress. This creates a more cooperative and friendly work environment that can increase overall productivity, while reducing mistakes.

Inc Magazine states that building the office culture and keeping staff members motivated relies on consistent details. Employee reward programs provide regular feedback about fitness goals, and the support and advice they get from other coworkers increases their motivation to achieve more by holding participants accountable for any failures.

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