Healthy Eating, Exercise Linked With Workplace Productivity

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Eating poorly and not exercising could be taking a toll on areas other than your waistline -- it could also affect how productive you are at work, new research suggests.

A new study that will be published in the journal Population Health Management shows that eating unhealthily is linked with a 66 percent increased risk of loss of productivity, while rare exercise is linked with a 50 percent increased risk of low productivity.

And smoking is linked with a 28 percent increased risk of loss of productivity, researchers found.

"Total health-related employee productivity loss accounts for 77 percent of all such loss and costs employers two to three times more than annual healthcare expenses," study researcher Ray Merrill, a health science professor at Brigham Young University, said in a statement.

The study included 19,803 people who worked at one of three large companies. The research was conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University, the Center for Health Research at Healthways and the Health Enhancement Research Organization.

The researchers found that people between ages 30 and 39 were the most likely to experience a loss in productivity, while people ages 60 and older were the least likely to experience a loss in productivity.

BusinessNewsDaily reported that certain industries are more likely to be affected by loss of productivity. The most affected were people who worked in service or transportation, while the least affected were people who worked in fishing, construction, farming and mining.

Another thing that takes a major blow on productivity? Sleep deprivation.

A study in the Journal of Vision from Brigham and Women's Hospital shows that the more sleep deprived a person, the worse his or her work becomes, Reuters reported.

"The longer someone is awake, the more the ability to perform a task, in this case a visual search, is hindered, and this impact of being awake is even stronger at night," Jeanne Duffy, associate neuroscientist at Brigham and Women's, told Reuters.

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