That’s the question addressed by a new study to be published in the journal Population Health Management. According to the study results, unhealthy eating habits are associated with a 66% higher risk of lost productivity. Other unhealthy habits such as infrequent exercising is linked to 50% higher risk of lost productivity. Researchers also found that smoking has been shown to lead to a 28% risk of loss of productivity.
Researchers at Brigham Young University, the Center for Health Research at Healthways, and the Health Enhancement Research Organization studied 19,803 workers at three large corporations. They discovered that workers in their 30s were most likely to be unhealthy and suffer a loss of productivity while workers over 60 were the least likely group to lose productivity.
“Total health-related employee productivity loss accounts for 77% of all such loss and costs employers two to three times more than annual healthcare expenses,” study researcher Ray Merrill, a health science professor at Brigham Young University, said in a statement.
Certain industries are more likely to be affected than others, according to Business News Daily. The service and transportation sectors were hardest hit by unhealthy habits, while the least affected industries were found to be fishing, construction, farming and mining.