Today’s Economic Turmoil,
Drives Need For HPM Programs, According To IBI
ever, employers and employees can benefit from the advantages and
lifestyle advice of health and productivity management (HPM) programs,
according to an analysis by the non-profit Integrated Benefits
economic difficulty and uncertain employment, employees are more liable
to engage in hazardous health behaviors, which reduce workplace
productivity, reported IBI.
risky lifestyle choices – such as heavily drinking and
– increase with higher rates of unemployment, and in turn
higher rates of workplace absenteeism and reduced productivity.
effect [of risky health behaviors] harms employers and workers alike,"
said Thomas Parry, PhD, president of IBI.
Sweden found that workers who smoked reported one-third more days of
sick leave per year than non-smokers or former smokers.
of exercise and routine smoking and drinking were also contributing
factors to absentee time, according to the findings.
from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey, IBI analyzed
data on 31,000 employed adults’ lifestyle risk factors and
industry’s quarterly unemployment rate, focusing on drinking,
smoking, and physical inactivity.
doubling of unemployment between April 2008 and April 2009, (4.5
percent to 8.9 percent), employees who smoke daily would be expected to
increase by 25 percent, non-exercisers by 9 percent, and moderate to
heavy drinkers by 20 percent.
conjunction with these findings, IBI reported that a survey it
conducted of 400 employers found 68 percent of respondents with HPM
programs plan to add, not cut, resources, for the next two years. An
additional 23 percent plan to maintain their existing HPM programs.
appear willing to step up their health promotion, disease management,
and return-to-work efforts even in tough economic times," said Parry.
health benefits aside, "It’s important that workforce health
promotion be seen as a necessary and sound business strategy," he said.
Integrated Benefits Institute, 595 Market St., Suite 810, San
Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 222 7280, http://ibiweb.org.