Sedentary Lifestyle and Stress Top Health Risks for Employees

Oct 28, 2013

The sedentary nature of Canadian workplaces is becoming as much of a health risk as stress for many workers.

That’s according to a new wellness survey from Sun Life Financial, which found 24% of Canadian employers consider work-related stress and sedentary lifestyles the most serious health risks affecting their employees.

92% of organizations surveyed recognized that the health of their employees influences overall corporate performance, since healthy employees mean more productivity, better attendance and a stronger bottom line, the report found.

Sapna Mahajan, director of prevention and promotion with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, says 500,000 Canadians are absent from work every week due to mental health issues and it`s costing the national economy $50 billion a year.

The Sun Life study found that 62% of the companies surveyed offer wellness initiatives, with 51% reporting an increase in employee morale and a 40% drop in absenteeism as a result of such programs. But in order for such initiates to work, employers must promote them so that employees take advantage of the programs, and also provide rewards to those who do participate.