The Economy Could Lead to an Increase Of Health-Conscious Employees

Friday, 6 Aug 2010, 7:48:00 AM

(unassigned)

With all the disadvantages that have appeared during this economic downturn, there seems to be an advantage when it comes to a worker's health. It appears that employees are choosing healthier options for lunch and taking fewer smoking breaks during the workday.

Forty-seven percent of workers say they have been making their own lunches more often, according to a CareerBuilder survey that questioned 4,498 U.S. employees. Packing a lunch for the workday helps workers make smarter eating choices and aids in lowering their spending costs. When you prepare your lunch, you are probably more likely to grab a vegetable or fruit to go with your meal. Fast food options tend to contain more fat, sugar or sodium.

When looking at smoking tendencies, 44 percent of workers who smoke say they are more likely to quit during this economic downturn. The good news for a healthier lifestyle: 21 percent of employees have decreased their daily smoking and 20 percent have decided to quit.

"Economic stress over the last year has caused some workers to reflect on their habits, and many of them have turned to healthier routines," says Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder's vice president of human resources. "In addition to helping cut personal costs, employees who limit their smoking and lunching out habits are taking better care of their overall health.

"This type of 'better-for-you' behavior can be encouraged by companies who implement wellness programs, healthy living challenges or smoking cessation support."

With the increased workload in companies, it is difficult for employees to find the time to take a lunch break. Thirty-two percent of respondents say they take a 30-minute break, while five percent only take a lunch for less than 15 minutes. Some employees never have a lunch break, while others eat at their desks.

Of those who manage to take a break from their workload, some workers decide to do multiple tasks during their lunchtime: hanging out with co-workers, running errands, doing work, walking, shopping or doing a workout.

When it comes to smoking breaks, most workers (78 percent) take about 10 minutes to step outside for a cigarette. The majority of employees (70 percent) say their day usually consists of three smoke breaks, but 12 percent report taking at least five smoke breaks per day.

Although many workers are making healthier choices in this job market, some employees may be experiencing the opposite effect from the stress of larger workloads and increased pressure. In order to maintain a good work ethic, employees should take a break from their desk for lunch. It could help recharge their batteries in order to remain focused throughout the day.

For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

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