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Elk Grove Citizen

Is Self-Care a Key to Increasing Workplace Productivity?

Jan 14, 2016 12:00AM ● By Brandpoint

(BPT) - Today’s employment marketplace is both complex and competitive. Workers have access to the benefits and job opportunities of a global economy, and to the modern technologies and resources that make workplace flexibility easier than ever before. In today’s workplace, there’s seemingly unlimited room for personal growth, mobility and productivity - but employees can’t achieve any of these things without their health.

Worker health affects everything, everywhere

Economists and business leaders both recognize the role of health in workforce productivity and competitiveness. When workers aren’t healthy, they can’t perform at their best and their companies become less efficient and competitive.

A survey of 35 large employers with at least 1.2 million workers, conducted by the Institute for Health and Productivity Management, found that common self-treatable conditions such as allergies, joint pain and excess stomach acid affect many workers every work day of the year. One global corporation determined that common ailments like these cost it $3.25 million annually in lost productivity. Individuals who have ever suffered from any of these ailments understand how difficult it is to remain productive and excel at their work when not feeling well.

More companies are understanding these challenges and realizing their impact on employees’ functionality and productivity. Many businesses now are empowering their workforce with simple solutions - offering preventive health and wellness programs to reduce the impact of common ailments on workplace productivity. This includes acknowledging the contribution of over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) to keeping employees healthy and productive.

Self-care and OTCs put power in the hands of consumers by providing safe and accessible relief options for many common health issues. This enables individuals to take an active role in their own health and wellness, to remain at work or return there more quickly, and to enjoy a better quality of life.

Benefits to the healthcare system as a whole

At a time when employers and society in general are working to control healthcare spending, OTCs are a critical component of ensuring that healthcare resources are used cost effectively. An independent study by Booz and Company estimates a total economic savings of $125-148 billion from avoided physician office visits ($77 billion), fewer costlier prescriptions ($25 billion) and less time away from work for doctor’s visits ($23-46 billion). Another study estimates that every $1 spent on OTCs saves the system $6 to $7.

For consumers, these findings just reconfirm what many already know - that engaging in good self-care and health habits means fewer sick days, increased productivity and a better quality of life. The medical cost savings also can lead to more affordable health plan options because of reduced medical costs incurred by their employers.

An ounce of prevention

For companies and their workers alike, the old Virgil adage still holds true, “the greatest wealth is health.” Today’s wellness resources and OTC options are empowering workers to prevent themselves from losing their functionality and productivity to muscle and joint pain and other common ailments.

For consumers, the accessibility of OTCs and self-care options provides a chance to take a more active role in their health, giving them an advantage in today’s competitive job marketplace.

To learn more about how OTCs can help and other disabling symptoms of self-treatable illness, speak with your pharmacist today.