COVID-19 & Employee Wellness
COVID-19 & Employee Wellness
Wellness is now important as ever. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing second or even third waves of lockdowns all across Europe, getting your employees vital, resilient and agile is getting paramount by the day. Fitter uses state of the art technology combined with activating challenges to get your employee out of the home working routine, keep them in motion and offers them a challenge in the coming dark and possbile lonely days.
Why employee wellness is more important as ever
Since COVID-19 turned our world upside down, we have come a long way with regards to research and getting to know more about the disease, the virus itself and why some people suffer more from COVID than others. One of the main conclusions is that people suffering from underlying health conditions are a clear risk group. And a lot of these diseases are preventable.
Especially people with overweight and obesity form a risk group. Obviously, without the corona virus obesity and overweight together are the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States and Europe, closely behind smoking. But people with overweight and obesity who suffer from COVID-19, it gets even worse for this group.
According to CDC individuals with obesity have 46% higher chance of getting COVID in the first place. Having contracted the illness, overweight people have a higher chance of getting severe illness from COVID-19, 113% higher chance of hospitalization, 74% higher chance of ICU admission. And finally, obese people with COVID-19 are 48% more likely to die. And by detour, obese people can suffer worse from COVID-19 because overweight can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes11, which eventually causes the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Another reason to monitor the wellness of your employees
As if these statistics are not enough motivation to monitor and optimize the employees of your employees, there is another main reason to help your workforce taking care of themselves. Because several countries througout Europe are being confronted with lockdowns again, employers are worrying about their employees well-being. It is very likely that people will stay indoors, as homeworkers are less likely to leave home, especially in the upcoming colder, darker and wetter days. This means that inactiveness is lurking, which means lower wellness, less energy and less motivation in the end. So these days staying fit is as important as getting fit.
Keeping the connection
As we all know there is a strong mental component to employee wellness. Lockdowns can have a pretty serious effect on the mental state. Loneliness, especially during the holidays, staying indoors, insecurity with regards to financial challanges are things people tend to worry about. But also home working, all the while home schooling children can cause a lot of stress. We have already seen this, like in France, who is just coming out of a six week lockdown. 37% of respondents in a survey held by research institute IFOP said the are feeling down since the lockdown went into effect.
This means that employees will have to find new ways to motivate people and offer them the chance of staying challenged and connected to their co-workers.
What can you do, as an employer
So how do you go about changing the wellness of your employees, and how do you change this for the long run? What are the steps to protect your employees and their families?
- Eathing healthy
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and whole grains as well as the appropriate amount of calories is important for your health. This can help with weight loss and preventing weight gain. Eating healthy can help support optimal immune function, so that people have less risk fall victim to COVID-19
- Physical activity
Regular physical activity helps you feel better, sleep better, and reduce anxiety. Besides preventing weight gain, it can also help boost immune function
Insufficient sleep has been linked to depression, as well as chronic diseases17 that may increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Stress during COVID can sometimes cause changes in eating patterns, alcohol use, smoking and sleep. Which in turn can lead to more severe ilness, which gives you a higher chance of having a severe case of COVID-19
Over time, these changes in lifestyle can help people with obesity, overweight or stress improve their health. If it results in weight loss or stress reduction, bot employees and employers experience huge benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars. And with a lower BMI, the risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is reduced.
Fitter is a employee wellness platform that challenges employees to live a more vital lifestyle. We learn people long-lasting habits by rewarding healthy behaviour with FitTokens which they can spend in our in-app shop. We help people eating healthier, being more physical active, getting enough sleep and coping with stress.
- Individuals with obesity and COVID‐19: A global perspective on the epidemiology and biological relationships https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/obr.13128
- IFOP Research https://www.ifop.com/opinion