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Report card meant to reduce economic impact of poor workplace health

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Summary

Improving the health choices Canadians make could improve the workplace, focus of new report

Tweaking your lifestyle could save the national economy $28 billion over a decade

TORONTO, ON. (NEWS 1130) – Many Canadians need a kick in the butt when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle, and it is costing the economy.

That’s why the Economic Club of Canada has announced it will be co-authoring an annual report card on workplace health.

The idea is to get people improving their habits surrounding physical activity, smoking, excess weight, alcohol and eating fruits and vegetables to try to reduce the impact of these five risk factors on your health and the economy.

The think tank points to research out of UBC that suggests even a one per cent year-over-year reduction of those five risk factors would save the Canadian economy over $7 billion in the next five years and $28.1 billion in the over the next 10 years. “It’s difficult to imagine anything else that could produce that kind of return for Canadians,” explains President and CEO of the Economic Club of Canada Rhiannon Traill.

In a news release, the Economic Club suggests workplaces are the ideal places to bring in strategies to help improve lifestyles, considering employers bear the economic brunt of the poor health of their employees.

“Research is underway to review intervention models that look to demonstrate the impact of small, easy to implement changes for employers that will make a big difference to the bottom line and prevent premature death and disability of their workforce,” it states.

The first report card is due out in October to coincide with Healthy Workplace Month.