According to a recent study, obese employees take more sick leaves than more slender employees. The result of this study tend to suggest that if an employer has to choose between two employees to fire, if their skill level is about the same, they will be more inclined to fire the more overweight one.
It is a well known fact that excess fat increases the risk of getting various diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. This increased risk of getting sick translates in more sick leaves which can put a big bull’s eye on your back in case of a downsizing.
The study done in the UK on 625 workers for the London Underground pointed out that the workers with a BMI of over 30, considered obese, took on average 4 more days off work compared to their normal weight colleagues.
The lead researcher of the study and psychiatrist at King’s College London. Samuel Harvey said “Employers are in quite a unique position to contribute to the public health message and interventions around obesity and trying to reduce levels of obesity. Our hope is that by demonstrating the economic cost to them of obesity amongst their workforce that that will help motivate employers to get involved in thinking about this problem.”
The solution that Harvey suggested was for the employer to get more involved and promote healthy eating amongst his employees. But we all know that this is unlikely to happen. The last concern of an employer is health education. I mean when is the last time that you recall your boss organized a meeting about how to better your health. The easiest solution that employers will more likely use is to eradicate the problem. This means firing the underproductive employees, regardless of the reasons why they are underproductive.
According to the study, being overweight increases the chance of short or long time absences exponentially. Frequent absences are never a good sign for any boss, and they start focusing more and more on the people that don’t show up for work regularly. This reduces the chances of advancing and increases the chances of getting fired.
The UK study should be a warning sign to all people who are battling excess weight. In this murky economy the last thing you need is to remain jobless. This should provide you an extra reason to motivate you to lose weight as soon as possible. Being healthy doesn’t only improve your chances of advancing or landing a better job, but it also reduces your health expenses. What more can you ask for. You get to make more money while at the same time saving lots and lots of money.