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Obesity in Louisiana: How Employers Can Make a Difference with Improved Workplace Health

obesity epidemic; obesity in the workplace; weight management program; employee health; workplace wellness programs; obesity in Louisiana; obesity rankingsObesity Epidemic: How Louisiana Ranks

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Obesity and the High Cost to Businesses

The obesity epidemic has certainly affected Louisiana with more than one third of the population coined as being overweight or obese. More recently, businesses across the United States have looked into finding new ways to encourage employees to prioritize their health. As a business owner or leader, it is important that you understand the effects these statistics can have on your company. Your employees spend one-third of their lives at work and the majority of their daytime hours in the workplace. A workplace study reported that employees who were categorized as obese missed on average 1.1 – 1.7 more days annually than those who were a healthy weight. When it comes to workplace health, the well-being of each employee plays a role in everything from company culture to productivity to healthcare costs. As an employer you really do have the opportunity to create change in employee health and the condition of our state overall.

How does workplace health and environment play a role in our obesity epidemic?

obesity epidemic; obesity in the workplace; weight management program; employee health; workplace wellness programs; obesity in Louisiana; obesity rankingsObesity rates have increased nationwide at a drastic rate. According to the 2017 America’s Health Rankings Report, the prevalence nearly tripled from 11.6% in 1990 to 29.8% today. Research over the last two decades reveals a variety of contributing factors such as lack of activity, poor diet and hereditary factors. Environmental and lifestyle factors are the most common causes of obesity. This includes workplace environment as being one of the contributing factors in the climb in obesity rates. Additional factors that play an important role are: increase in demand for desk jobs, stress, workload, and poor access to healthy food choices. If employees are spending the majority of their days on the job, the workplace can have a positive or negative impact on their obesity risk. 

How can companies impact workplace health and help reverse the trends in obesity?

Health professionals and business leaders together must actively engage in addressing these overwhelming concerns.  Regarding Public Health, we can no longer ignore obesity in the workplace. Instead employers should begin to adopt company culture and procedure modifications that will support workplace health and positive behavior change. This change will have a trickledown effect into families and communities. Here are some key recommendations to consider:

  • Workplace health can be improved with simple but impactful changes to your company culture. SB Wellness helps our clients on a personalized basis to create culture change. It begins with assessing greatest areas of need and taking consistent steps to healthy culture change. Simple changes can be put into place to make a positive impact on weight management. When coupled with the right weight management programming, employees begin to feel supported and empowered to make lasting health behavior changes.
  • Implement programming that will address and support all factors involved in obesity. Evidence-based programs that address obesity with a more balanced, holistic approach is what we have seen produce the best results. Our Weight Management Program is a comprehensive program that gives employees the tools and professional support they need to make life-long health status change. Read more on the outcomes we have seen with our program: Workplace Wellness for High Risk Employees
  • Broaden your focus. Obesity is not just a number on the scale or a value on a chart. It is a disease that is difficult to manage and vastly different for each individual. Having a well-rounded program that focuses on more than just weight loss will have a more positive, lasting outcome. The goal has to be to support each individual and meet them where they are with their health and risks.

health coach; wellness coaching; behavior change; employee wellness; employee wellness programs; weight management; health coachingContact SB Wellness Group for a free consultation to find out how you can implement programs into your workplace that will motivate employees struggling with obesity and other high risk health problems. A reliable wellness vendor knows how to build trust and inspire healthy change. Our team of professionals are passionate about helping individuals improve their overall well-being. They are experienced in the challenges involved in weight management. We work hard to inspire lifelong change and keep those employees engaged.

 

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