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5 Ways to Step Up Productivity at Your Workplace

22 November 2018

Employees who find it difficult to exercise during the day are 96% less likely to be productive.1


Chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions and musculoskeletal disorders are major causes of low productivity and absenteeism.2,3  Many of these are due to poor diet and lack of exercise, with a high body mass index (BMI) identified as a significant risk factor for chronic disease.4


  1. Lead from the top. Consider the potential in management posting their own exercise progress, or department heads working out alongside their teams.2,5
  2. Lay the groundwork. Invest time and effort in raising awareness on exercise-related health topics. Make sure your employees know why they’re being asked to be more active and how to do so safely.5
  3. Go company-wide. Strengthen team spirit! Think of social activities which bring together people who might not otherwise interact at work.2
  4. Make goals clear. Whether management measures absenteeism and presenteeism (reporting to a job but not performing at capacity due to illness), or employees set personal goals, the objective must always be clear.5
  5. Make it fun. And voluntary!



  1. Poor employee health means slacking on the job, business losses. Brigham Young University Web Site. Published 19 August 2012. Accessed 29 May 2017.
  2. Mitchell RJ, Bates P. Measuring Health-Related Productivity Loss. Popul Health Manag. 2011;14(2):93-98. doi:10.1089/pop.2010.0014.
  3. Schofield D, Shrestha RN, Cunich MM, et al. Economic costs of chronic disease through lost productive life years (PLYs) among Australians aged 45–64 years from 2015 to 2030: results from a microsimulation model. BMJ Open. 2016;6(9):e011151. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-011151.
  4. The GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators. Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years. N Engl J Med. 2017; 377:13-27.DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1614362.
  5. Quintiliani L, Sattelmair J, Sorensen G. The workplace as a setting for interventions to improve diet and promote physical activity. Background paper prepared for the WHO/WEF Joint Event on Preventing Noncommunicable Diseases in the Workplace (Dalian/ China, September 2007). Available at: Accessed July 13, 2017.

The health information provided in this document is for information only and is aimed at promoting healthy habits. This information does not constitute medical advice or claim to replace the assistance that should be provided by a doctor. Cigna does not assume any responsibility under any circumstances arising from the use, abuse, interpretation or application of any health information offered. Always ask a doctor about anything related to medical examinations, treatments, tests and health recommendations.

This material is provided for informational purposes only.  It is believed accurate as of the date of publication and is subject to change.  Such material should not be relied upon as legal, medical, or tax advice.  As always, we recommend that you consult with your independent legal, medical, and/or tax advisors. © 2017 Cigna. All rights reserved.