Obesity in the Workplace: Managing Obesity through Wellness Programs

Obesity in the Workplace: Managing Obesity through Wellness Programs

What is Obesity?

Obesity is the result of the difference between energy intake and energy expended in your body. When your body has less energy expenditure through metabolism or physical activity than the energy intake from what you eat, starts building obesity. In obesity, the high amount of unused energy is stored by the body as fat. If a person’s BMI is within the range of 30-34.9, is considered as class I obese. Ideally, you must aim to keep your BMI under 25 to avoid any risk of being obese.

Effects of Obesity in the Workplace


Studies have revealed that employees suffering from obesity remain absent from work most of the time. The organization runs with a risk of a big loss in terms of productivity due to absenteeism if a high percentage of obese employees works there.


Presenteeism is defined as producing less than expected while you’re present at work. The obese employees have more chances of suffering from back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure & more. This means presenteeism can be the issue with employees as their bad health condition will be responsible for not performing according to their ability. Overall presenteeism can cause significant loss in productivity for any business if most of the employees are the victim of presenteeism in the workplace.

Workplace Injuries

Studies have also revealed that obese people have a high risk of being injured at the workplace which results in increased health cost and reduced productivity of the organization. Mostly the occupational injuries take place in manufacturing & construction companies where the injuries to the knees, legs & back are common to obese people.

How to Tackle Obesity through Workplace Wellness Programs

Employees who are obese are found less engaged in their work and can be responsible for reducing your company’s productivity, increase health care costs, and can have expensive health complications in the coming time. Obesity in the workplace is a big challenge for employers who are interested in improving the health of their employees and increase the productivity of the organization. Here are some ways to be included in your workplace wellness program to target obesity among your employees

Spread Awareness among your employees

Start counselling and communication with your employees on a regular basis. Discuss with them about the health risks involved in obesity. Guide them in terms of exercise, nutrition to lose weight.

Healthy Meals for Obese Employees:

You can facilitate a separate meal facility to obese employees where every eatable would be healthy and advised by a nutritionist for obese employees. You can also subsidize healthy meals & snacks for the obese population of your company if the budget allows.

Conduct sessions focusing on physical activities

Most of the employees do not prefer exercising alone so you can conduct group exercise sessions and make employee participation mandatory. Organizing short walking sessions during the lunch hours of the company, it can be a good option for such employees who need the motivation to lose weight. You can also put in the rewards & recognition for the employees who achieve their fitness goals.

Incentives for Participating in the Wellness Program

Employers can initiate the process of incentive disbursement for obese employees who actively takes participation in the wellness program accordingly. This step will definitely motivate them for keeping the spirit live in the wellness program.

You may like the ways to offer wellness incentives to employees.

Does your workplace have a high percentage of the population obese and not able to produce expected output? Get in touch with our health experts to deliver a wellness program fulfilling your requirement.