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Physical Activity

Why Employers Care

Staying active is the single most important step that employees can take to maintain and improve their health. Regular physical activity helps prevent weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. It also helps combat stress and improves mood. Furthermore, increased physical activity is associated with lower medical claim costs and increased productivity.1

With employees at work an average of 50% of their waking hours, they rarely have time or energy for recreational activity. A lack of recreational activity coupled with a sedentary job puts employees at increased risk for poor health. Creating a work environment that supports increased physical activity can improve health, job performance and work relationships.2

What Can Employers Do?

New research suggests it is equally important for employers to reduce sedentary time among their employees as it is to promote prolonged bouts of physical activity. To help employers understand this new research, build the business case for physical activity programs and identify strategies that can be implemented, the National Business Group on Health created its toolkit, Physical Activity: Re-evaluating the Business Case and Employer Strategies. The toolkit also provides employers with the latest data on and examples of employer-based physical activity strategies.

References (show references)

1 Pronk NP et al, Relationship between modifiable health risks and short-term health care charges. JAMA. 1999;282(23):2235-9.

2 Pronk, Nico et al. The Association Between Work Performance and Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and Obesity. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2004;46(1).

Page last updated: August 14, 2015

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