Life Expectancy Drops — and What Companies Can Do for Their Employees

by Chris Rhatigan on Jan 3, 2017 8:00:00 AM

workplace well-being

A new report from the National Center for Health Statistics found that life expectancy has dipped to 78.8 years. It’s the first time in 20 years that this statistic has decreased. Some of the top culprits include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and accidents. Experts say that unhealthy behaviors have contributed to lower life expectancy.

Though much of the problem is attributable to individual behavior, employers can be part of the solution. Lowering stress and fostering healthier lifestyles should be at the forefront of employee-centered programs.


Wellness Programs

Employers can offer wellness programs that focus on preventative care, exercise, mindfulness, and eating a nutritious diet. ADURO is a leader in this field. The company focuses on a holistic approach to wellness, starting with physical health and extending to emotional and social health. By guiding employees toward better habits in all facets of life, ADURO intends to create better outcomes.

Another organization leading the way in encouraging healthy behaviors is Limeade. This company incorporates wellness into everyday technology use. Helping employees feel their best is just the start. Successful wellness programs have an impact on employee engagement and productivity. Not to mention that a healthier workforce will be less likely to be absent from work. Think of adopting a wellness program as an investment in your workforce.

limeade quote

Work-Life Balance

Americans are known for working more hours than other industrialized countries. So when we’re not at work, it’s important to disconnect. Employers can help by not expecting employees to be available outside of normal working hours. They can also remind employees to take much-needed paid vacation time. Allowing for flexibility when employees need to take care of familial obligations is also important.

The weight of accumulated responsibilities can lead to higher stress. This can lead to a variety of negative outcomes from increased alcohol consumption to insomnia. Chronic stress is correlated with heart disease, according to Medicine Net. Employees who don’t have time to exercise and who eat an “on-the-run” diet are less likely to be healthy. Employers who consistently put pressure on employees to produce more are part of the problem.

As Limeade notes, “Organizations that care about their employees see remarkable results.” What better way to show that you care than by investing in wellness and encouraging work-life balance. Doing so is simply good for business and for employees.

 

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This post was written by Chris Rhatigan

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance writer and editor. He is a former newspaper reporter for The New Haven Register and The Iowa City Press-Citizen. He enjoys playing old video games, studying (and trying to speak) Hindi, and walking his dog on the local trails. He lives in India.