Don’t want unhealthy staff? Move your office.
If you want healthy employees, move the office near a gym and far away from fast-food chains.
That was the key finding of a US study by the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The report highlighted location of offices had a significant role in maintaining healthy employees.
It found 17% of Millennial employees in workplaces that encouraged several healthy lifestyle practices were obese.
This number rose to 24% in spaces that promoted one or no healthy practices.
Canvassing responses from 1,538 people in total, the study concluded that overall, about 19% of participants were obese, but those who reported working in spaces with three or more healthy factors were less likely to be obese than those working at jobs with fewer healthy factors.
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“Working young adults are dealing with many stress such as being pressed for time, juggling personal and work responsibilities, and stretching limited resources,” said Allison Watts, who led the study. “So, many young adults will reach for what is convenient and affordable.”
She added it is important for workplaces to take these factors in order to provide a healthy workplace.
About half of respondents worked within a 10-minute walk to fitness facilities and more than half worked within a 10-minute walk of a fast food restaurant.
Almost three out of 10 (27%) stated they had at least one sugary drink and 20% ate fast food at least three times per week.
More than half completed at least 2.5 hours of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week and took active transportation, such as walking or cycling.
Soda and sweet snacks were available at most of the young adults’ jobs. About half said eating a healthy diet and being physical active was easy at work
“Workplace environments could help compensate for fast food establishments nearby,” Carolyn Dunn, professor and head of the department of youth, family and community services at NC State University told Reuters.
“You certainly are not going to turn down a great job just because there’s a McDonald’s on the corner,” she said.
But creating a healthy environment at work that’s supported by management may chip away at the unhealthy factors, she added.
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