Half of U.S workers say their job affects their overall health. Are Canadian workers in the same boat?

MC&A July Newsletter - Half of U.S workers say their job affects their overall health. Are Canadian workers in the same boat?

Half of U.S. workers say their job affects their overall health. Are Canadian workers in the same boat?

Half of U.S. workers say their job affects their overall health. Are Canadian workers in the same boat?

Approx. half (44 per cent) of working Americans say their current job affects their overall health, according to research published by National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The
research, which was conducted among 1,600 working adults in the U.S., also found that within this 44 per cent, 28 per cent said their job is good for their health and 16 per cent said it’s bad for their health. More than a quarter of respondents said their job is bad for their eating habits (28 per cent) and sleeping habits (27 per cent). About equal proportions said their job is good (19 per cent) or bad (22 per cent) for their weight.

Read: Getting a good night’s sleep: Easy as z-z-z?

A majority (54 per cent) of working adults said their workplace is supportive in taking steps to improve employees’ personal health. Some 35 per cent said their workplace is somewhat supportive, while five per cent said their workplace is somewhat unsupportive and four per cent said it was very unsupportive. When asked which benefits or services were made available to them in the workplace, respondents cited health insurance (80 per cent), paid vacation days (75 per cent), paid sick days (66 per cent), disability insurance (64 per cent), paid personal days (61 per cent) and on-site medical care (32 per cent). Despite the fact that 75 per cent of respondents said their workplace offers them paid vacation days, few use all (35 per cent) or most (14 per cent) of them. Less than a third (31 per cent) used only some of the paid vacation days they received, while 17 per cent
have used none of their paid vacation days in the past 12 months.

The research also found that 59 per cent of working adults feel their job has an impact on their stress levels, while 49 per cent rate the efforts of their workplace to reduce stress as only fair or poor. Only one in six (15 per cent) respondents rate the efforts of their workplace to reduce job stress as excellent, while 34 per cent rate their workplace’s efforts as good.

When asked if their workplace offers any formal wellness or health improvement programs to help keep themselves healthy, around half (51 per cent) of respondents said their workplace offers these programs. Among those who participate in workplace wellness programs, the vast majority (88 per cent) said these programs are very or somewhat important to their health, while just nine per cent feel these programs are not very important or not important at all to their health.

A quarter (24 per cent) of respondents whose workplace offers formal wellness or health improvement programs said they are offered financial incentives to participate in these programs. Five per cent said their workplace has financial penalties if they do not participate in these programs. In addition, one in five workers (19 per cent) said their workplace offers wellness or health improvement programs for their family member.

How can Canadian employers enhance their workforce? Offering the right group benefit plan with the best fitting carrier is a good start. MC&A Advisors can help your business achieve your workplace wellness goals. Contact one of our advisors today.

excerpts provided by: Benefits Canada, July 2016

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