Obesity rates in Canadian workplaces continue to rise and it is starting to strain resources. Estimates show that the economic burden of obesity in Canada ranges from $4.6 billion to $7.1 billion every year. The numbers continue to increase with growing obesity epidemic. How does obesity affect the workplace?
Obesity reduces productivity. It is also one of the common reasons for absenteeism. At least 77% more days are missed by an obese employee. While obesity is considered as more of a lifestyle choice rather than a medical condition, obesity can result into diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, depression and osteoarthritis.
In order to address obesity in the workplace and put a stop to its progression, current wellness initiatives and benefits plans must be reshaped. For example, obese workers must be allowed to file workmen’s compensation claims. This will reduce the overall costs of obesity to the employers and minimize their disability liability.
Employers must initiate best practices to deter weight bias. For example, many workers who are obese or overweight would refuse to join workplace initiatives for fear of being judged due to their inability to meet the challenge. There is also the concern of not being able to maintain weight loss. According to research, more than 90% of people can successfully lose weight through calorie-reduced diets but they eventually gain back the weight within 5 years.
The key to the success of a workplace obesity management program is to remove undue pressure on the individual. There must be guidance from those with the training and experience on nutrition and fitness. Employees must be influenced to undertake an individualized and effective treatment approach. A healthy culture must also be created. For example, healthy foods must be served at the canteen and vending machine. There must be a pleasant eating environment with proper breaks to support weight maintenance.
Losing weight is not as easy as some people believe. In many instances, an individual needs additional help from HCG drops to burn stored body fat into energy. Thousands of people have lost weight by as much as 10 pounds in 30 days or an average weight loss of 1 pound a day.