Christine Peters

The Healthy HR Leader

wlkA few months ago we talked about the benefits of a wellness program for an organization and its productivity. You know who else can benefit? You.

There are countless examples of great business leaders taking care of themselves from Mark Cuban to Tim Cook – exercise freaks who credit great fitness with helping them achieve.

Richard Branson, famous for founding the Virgin Group credits working out with giving him the energy and stamina to work four more hours every day. And as an HR/payroll professional, you know the other side of that coin as most absences are health related. Keep in mind that it is the rare overachiever like Branson that can work those kinds of hours and be productive. Research shows that most of us cannot be at all effective working more than 55 hours a week. So the hours you are working, be sharp and alert thanks to a healthy lifestyle.

Who cares though right – you eat well and are in decent health. But what if you were paid to work out? A study in the Journal of Labor Research reveals that those who exercise regularly earn on average 9 percent more than those who don’t. And while it may seem unfair, a person’s appearance can impact a job search and/or advancement. A study by George Washington University shows that obese people are paid less. Specifically, obese women are paid on average $8,666 less annually than their counterparts while for men the difference is smaller at $4,772 a year.

You’ll find another great benefit of working out and being healthy if your role has you traveling in airplanes. Staying fit keeps you healthy in spite of travel stress and the many diseases spread on planes.

Working out can also help your network as you meet interesting people, colleagues, potential clients, employees or employers. Join a team or a gym and meet people.

If all of this just seems like too much – if you have tried working out and it just “isn’t for me,” consider taking one-on-one meetings on the road and take a walk while discussing what matters. Getting your body moving helps get your brain going.



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