Economy

The business cost of obestity… Mix your own breakfast, online… Vista’s slow rollout…Fruit exports’ good news

SmartCompany /

Obese employees cost companies more

A new study suggests that investing in wellness programs may pay off on the bottom line. Obese employees cost companies more money than their fit counterparts – in lost workdays, and more workers’ compensation claims, according to a recent study by Duke University Medical Center, writes Inc.com.

Researchers looked at the records of 11,728 employees of Duke University who received health risk appraisals between 1997 and 2004 to determine whether there was a relationship between body mass index and the rate of workers’ compensations claims.

(Body mass index, or BMI, takes into account a person’s height and weight and is considered the most accurate indicator of obesity).

The researchers found that obese workers filed twice as many workers’ compensations claims as workers who fell within the recommended BMI range.

Obese workers averaged 11.65 claims per 100 workers, compared to 5.8 claims per 100 for non-obese employees. As a result, obese employees had seven times higher medical costs, for an average of $51,019 per 100 employees. The most common causes of injury among obese workers were falls, slips, and attempts to lift something.

The study also found that obese employees lost 13 times more days of work, than their leaner counterparts, averaging 183.63 days lost per 100 employees.

It’s a tricky and emotional issue for employers. SmartCompany.com.au blogger Marcia Griffin tackled it yesterday in her posting. She says she has less respect for very overweight people. Read her comments and join the debate.

Small businesses tend to be cost-conscious when it comes to paying for health benefits for staff maybe it is a false economy. Wellness programs could ultimately save you money.

MYOBreakfast… online

Vegemite on toast is a great breakfast, but sometimes you feel like something a bit different. Springwise has found a couple of great online innovators that are making breakfast more interesting for the good people of Europe: Mymuesli and Blends For Friends.

German-based Mymuesli lets you purchase custom-made muesli from its website. You can choose from more than 70 ingredients, from the relatively mundane such as dried fruit and nuts to cool stuff like organic gummi bears. Or, if you’re not feeling creative, you can order one of Mymuesli’s own mixes, such as the tropical Copacabana Days.

If tea is more your bag, check out Blends For Friends. Based in the UK, Blends for Friends can deliver custom mixed tea, or even better, they will mix a tea for you based on personal information such as date of birth, job, physical appearance and hobbies. All sounds a bit mystical, but wouldn’t you like to know what kind of tea suits you?

Vista’s slow rollout

Australian organisations are taking a conservative approach to Microsoft’s latest operating system, reports the Australian Financial Review. Central Queensland University is among those to have stepped back from earlier commitments to upgrade from Windows XP to Vista. The university announced in May 2007 it would not automatically make the switch for its 4000 computers but would proceed slowly with internal installations. Research firms say there are probably no large Vista deployments in Australia yet, as organisations evaluate the lessons for early adopters.

Fruit exports

Good news for all the Treechangers. Premium quality fruits from Australia are finally finding acceptance with customers in Japan, Europe and the US. And nut exports are up almost 50% over the past five years. However, the overall the value of Australian horticultural exports has fallen by 8% since 2001 due to the loss of the Taiwanese stonefruit market and Thai duties imposed on Australian fruit, according to Horticulture Australia.

Advertisement
SmartCompany

SmartCompany is the leading online publication in Australia for free news, information and resources catering to Australia’s entrepreneurs, small and medium business owners and business managers.

We Recommend

FROM AROUND THE WEB