Should we treat workplace inactivity like an occupational hazard such as chemical exposure? After all, inactivity is a health hazard that reduces fitness and contributes to obesity, sleep apnea, heard disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.Employers who encourage brief bouts of physical activity throughout the day will help spare their employees from the health hazard of inactivity—a far more prevalent health hazard than chemical exposure. Plus, physically active workers are more productive, use less sick time, have fewer injuries, and lower medical costs.
In the Netherlands, a health-care model predicts that if all Dutch workers did just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week, the annual health care savings would be $1.28 billion dollars per year. More realistically, if only 20% to 25% of Dutch workers were to become more active, annual savings would be $330 million dollars.
There’s no question: actvity contributes to substantial savings. That’s one reason the American College of Sports Medicine’s slogan is “Exercise IS Medicine.” In my opinion, they should be touting “Exercise is BETTER THAN medicine.” Do you agree!?