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September 13, 2012
Poor employee health linked to business losses

Expanding employee waistlines could be shrinking company bottom lines, according to new research from Brigham Young University (BYU). Professor Ray Merrill found that employees with unhealthy habits are causing substantially higher levels of lost workplace productivity.

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Researchers collected data on nearly 20,000 employees from three large, geographically dispersed companies. They found employees with an unhealthy diet were 66 percent more likely to report a loss in productivity compared with healthier eaters. Those who exercised occasionally were 50 percent more likely to report lower levels of productivity.

“This research certainly suggests the value of health promotion programs in a workplace environment,” said Merrill. “Making fruits and vegetables available to employees in the workplace and having leadership who play a supportive role with employee wellness is critical to office productivity.”

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