Healthy Workers, Healthy Bottom-Line

When people are healthier, they're wealthier. When they're wealthier, they're healthier. That pretty much sums up several decades of research by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They looked at the three major determinants of health: your genes (which are still largely unchangeable), your behavior (only a tiny percentage of us will actually change our behavior for the long term), and your economic status. It turns out that last one -- your wealth -- is the only one that we can reliably impact. 

So, last year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation came together and launched the Health Means Business campaign, a nationwide effort to bring people from across the public, private, and civil sectors to work on a common goal: improving the health and well being of people in communities across America.

But why? Why should businesses care about the health of their communities? Turns out, As noted in a recent USA Today article, Business and Governments Boost Workforce Health, employers lose an average of $1,685 per employee per year for health-related conditions and almost 80% of employees reported at least one health problem that caused productivity loss in the previous two weeks. In fact, American businesses lose over $225 billion every year due to lost worker productivity caused by poor health, according to the American Productivity Audit.

That's why the Health Means Business Campaign invites businesses, local governments, public health officials, non-profits, educators, scientists, and more to work together in their local communities and develop health and wellness programs designed to fit local needs. You can watch our own Richard Crespin explain the campaign and how RWJF and the US Chamber Foundation have worked to bring multiple sectors together to tackle this tough problem.

Here are three things you can do to take action in your community and become part of this nationwide movement:

  1. Check out this list of upcoming regional forums and consider attending one near you. The next forum is set to take place in Atlanta, GA on September 15th, 2016 at the Morehouse School of Medicine.
  2. Join business leaders like CEO Steve Forbes and civic leaders like Ft. Worth's Mayor Price, and take the Health Means Business Pledge to get connected to tools, resources, and a nationwide network of co-collaborators.
  3. Learn how to engage stakeholders and leaders from across multiple sectors to tackle big problems like this one by registering for the CollaborateUp Academy in Washington, DC. The next Academy workshops are scheduled for September 19th-20th and November 30th-December 1st

By Richard Crespin, CEO at CollaborateUp

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