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Obesity a Heavy Drag on Workforce (and other) Performance

March 17, 2015
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Are you obese?

Recently Kronos was 1 of 25 individual companies honored for “efforts in maintaining and improving employee health.” The Boston Business Journal must have missed me. Don’t get me wrong, Kronos provides many wellness benefits including on-site gyms, fitness classes, wellness coaches, and more, so it’s me, it’s not them.

Based on statistics from the US Center for Disease Control, over 1 out of 3 of you reading this are obese like me. And like me, you probably hate it. I’m very lucky that at this point in the journey. My cholesterol and blood sugar numbers are good, but as a baby boomer, that luck can’t last. I’ve been a consistent visitor to the gym, but consistency is relative. Once a week is consistent. 3x a week is what I need.

Fat is costly. Americans spend an estimated $60 billion a year on weight loss efforts including diet plans, supplements, gyms, and even surgery. What a waist…

“You know what the secret to weight loss is? Don’t eat much.”
Simon Cowell

250In my experience, Mr. Cowell is correct. It’s a calories in / calories out business, and you cannot realisticly exercise enough to match the caloric deficit you can create by limiting what you eat. Back in 2009 I lost 18 pounds in 10 weeks, and it was intake discipline that got it done. The gym will burn some calories, but it will take an hour on a cardio machine to lose the calories you can consume in 10 seconds.

Obesity is even more costly to our employers and healthcare providers. One recent study pegs the global annual cost at $2,000,000,000,000.00 (that’s 2 TRILLION). Other drags on business performance include:

  • Decreased Worker Productivity and Increased Absenteeism
  • Higher Workers’ Compensation Claims
  • Health and Emergency Safety Costs

For me, there’s also the costly psychological distress of moobs, especially with another beach season coming up… Whatever your reason, it’s not “too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around.” You just need to start. Here’s some food for thought I hope is helpful:

One of the tips I read in one of these articles was to make a public declaration of your weight-loss intent. My first goal is 24 pounds by Memorial Day. I’ll update my progress then. What’s your plan to drop a few? Let me know in the comments below.

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