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ROI for physical activity in the workplace

Research shows that supporting physical activity in the workplace will have a positive return on investment (ROI) for businesses.

Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary time are two significant risk factors in preventing chronic disease. Physical inactivity increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis; and has been linked to premature death. Being physically active reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, mental health issues, obesity and hypertension. Despite knowing that  physical activity can prevent lifestyle related disease, 55% of Australians are not meeting the recommended physical activity guideline to do so.

With the majority of Australians over 15 years old in the workforce, the workplace is seen as a priority setting for promoting the health of our population by the world health organisation and our government.

Absenteeism is reported to cost the Australian economy $7billion each year and presenteeism (the problem of workers’ being on the job but, because of illness or other medical conditions, not fully functioning) over $26 billion each year. The major contributing factors to presenteeism are depression,  type 2 diabetes, hypertension and allergies. Physical activity is proven to prevent and manage the first three of the four contributing factors.

Research has shown that workplace health programs can result in:

  • 29% increase in productivity
  • 24% improvement in worker health
  • 3% reduction in sick leave absenteeism
  • 7% reduction in workers compensation costs
  • 2% reduction in disability management costs
  • $5.81 of savings for every $1 invested in employee wellbeing

Sources of the above data

The direct benefits to your employees include:

  • Increased morale, job satisfaction and motivation
  • Improved mental alertness, concentration and energy levels
  • Decreased stress and other work-related illness
  • Improved prevention of chronic diseases

Whichever way you look at it, encouraging your workers to be more active is a benefit to them, you and the bottom line.