Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wellness? Workers Are Too Depressed To Work Out

Stress, depression, anxiety, and poor social support are getting in the way of employees’ workplace wellness goals, according to a new report from ComPsych Corporation.

Among ComPsych's findings:

15% of employees don't get any exercise;

31% exercise a mere once or twice per week;

34% eat one (or fewer) fruits and vegetables every day;

23% admit to binge drinking within the past six months;

16% say they are getting enough sleep.

Nearly one-quarter of employees are into binge drinking? Wow. Maybe it's because employees are feeling kind of down in the dumps: 40% of employees surveyed said an "emotional or physical health problem" has kept them from maintaining normal activities with friends and family, and 36% said they're feeling tense or anxious most of the time these days. Slightly more than one-fifth (21%) said they've "felt down, depressed or hopeless" in the past four weeks. According to ComPsych:
"There is strong correlation between high stress/emotional issues and poor lifestyle choices," said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych. "For example, smoking and overeating may be a means to self-medicate undiagnosed depression.

"To be effective, corporate wellness programs must focus on emotional as well as physical factors of the employee, and include a counseling component to address underlying issues," he added.

So the treadmill and nutrition planning alone may not be cutting it in this recession. Just some food for thought, employers.

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