Lack of Exercise, Stress Have Most Negative Impacts, Workers Say

Workers responding to a poll by LifeCare(R) Inc., a provider of work/life services, said the single most negative impact on their health was a lack of exercise (24 percent). LifeCare points out, however, that responses related to various forms of stress actually have a larger impact when added together: stress about finances (22 percent), stress over personal or family issues (20 percent), and stress on the job (14 percent) accounted for 56 percent of the top responses to the poll. Respondents also were asked to cite what is keeping them from addressing these negative impacts, and the top two responses were "Don't know how to begin" (38 percent) and "Don't have the time" (23 percent).

The poll was conducted throughout the month of July on LifeCare's private Web site among employees of its 1,500 client organizations. When asked, "Which of the following is having the most negative impact on your health at the moment?" responding employees chose as follows:

Lack of exercise -- 24%
Stress about finances -- 22%
Stress in personal/family life -- 20%
Stress on the job -- 14%
Lack of sleep -- 8%
Poor diet -- 7%
Smoking -- 2%
Alcohol -- 1%
Other -- 2%

For the second part of the poll, employees were asked, "What is keeping you from addressing this issue?" They responded:

Don't know how to begin -- 38%
Don't have the time -- 23%
Not motivated/don't care -- 14%
Can't afford help -- 14%
Too embarrassed to seek help -- 4%

Another seven percent cited a variety of other reasons, each representing less than one percent. These included: "There is no solution to the problem," "Tried to resolve the problem but can't," and "Need outside support."

"Our clients continually tell us that the health of their employees has a definite impact on their overall productivity," said LifeCare CEO Peter G. Burki. "That's why we develop health and wellness programs aimed at helping people make lasting, positive lifestyle choices. If you can get employees to do that, you've got a true win-win--it's good for employees and it's good for employers. And workplace wellness programs are an excellent way to help that large percentage of people who don't know where or how to begin to help themselves." For more information, visit www.lifecare.com.

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