Economic downturn improving worker health: survey

July 15, 2010

The current economic downturn may be having a positive effect on employee health, according to a survey conducted in May by the employment website CareerBuilder.com. The survey, which included more than 4,400 workers, found that economic conditions are leading more workers to pack healthy lunches and quit smoking.

Among survey respondents, 47 percent said they began bringing healthier lunches from home to save money, 21 percent said they cut the number of smoke breaks they take during the workday and 20 percent have quit smoking altogether.

"In addition to helping cut personal costs, employees who limit their smoking and lunching out habits are taking better care of their overall health," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for Chicago-based CareerBuilder. "This type of 'better-for-you' behavior can be encouraged by companies who implement wellness programs, healthy living challenges or smoking cessation support."