Friday, December 19th1.2°C
24563
23791

Sedentary lifestyle and stress biggest health risks for employees

TORONTO - 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 per cent of Canadian employers consider work-related stress and sedentary lifestyles the most serious health risks affecting their employees.

"Stress has been the number one for many years, what we're seeing now that stress is staying very high on the radar for employers and they're certainly recognizing work-related stress is a key issue, but sedentary lifestyle has now crept up as a key concern and key factor," said Lori Casselman, assistant vice-president of group benefits at Sun Life.

Ninety-two per cent 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.

"It's a huge economic cost and it's one that just can't be ignored anymore by business," Mahajan said.

The commission set out a national standard earlier this year, which Mahajan hopes companies will use as a guide to both prevent and accommodate mental health issues.

"We're not saying that you're not going to have stresses at work or anxiety," Mahajan said.

"But maybe there are certain things you can put in place — processes, policies, and structures — to try to avoid as much as possible that psychological harm, and to have structures in place so that if people aren't feeling well, there's a way to accommodate them."

He adds that once somebody goes off work, it's harder to have them back.

The Sun Life study found that 62 per cent of the companies surveyed offer wellness initiatives, with 51 per cent reporting an increase in employee morale and a 40 per cent drop in absenteeism as a result of such programs.

But in order for such initiates to work, Casselman says employers must promote them so that employees take advantage of the programs, and also provide rewards to those who do participate.

"Programs that are offered in the workplace are largely very well received by employees if they're offered in the right way, with the right incentives," she said.

The Sun Life Buffett National Wellness Survey was conducted over the spring and summer of 2013, with a national sample of 400 Canadian employers representing public, private and not-for-profit organizations ranging in size from less than 100 employees to more than 2,500.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24153


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14457.53+110.78
S&P CDNX672.23+6.73
DJIA17769.89-8.26
Nasdaq4756.274+7.878
S&P 5002064.43+3.20
CDN Dollar0.8605-0.0028
Gold1197.20+2.50
Oil56.06+1.95
Lumber338.00+1.10
Natural Gas3.498-0.144

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.25-0.03
Cantex0.03-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.1899+0.0199
Metalex Ventures0.055+0.005
Russel Metals25.45-0.55
Copper Mountain Mining1.59+0.02
Colorado Resources0.120.00
ReliaBrand Inc0.011-0.0089
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.2250.00

 
24130


24376

FEATURED Property
1802846910 Stockley Street, Kelowna, BC
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$1,195,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


My final thoughts on real estate

This will be the last column I write on real estate. Largely because at the end of the year I will be handing in my license. After 20+ years of working in land development, resort development and rea...


Reflecting on the end of the year

The importance of the end of the year and the Christmas holidays is profound. It is a time to reconnect with family and traditions that have made us who we are. But the year-end has always been a time...


Parenthood: Estates, insurance & taxes

It is now even more important to ensure your loved ones are well looked if anything should happen to you. Here are a few topics to consider helping you prepare for some of the unexpected events that c...

_





24386


Member of BC Press Council


23911