Long Live The Employee!

OldManHave any 100-year-old employees on your payroll? Most likely, you don’t. Yet, what if your employees engaged in healthy lifestyles which enabled them to live 30, 40 or 50 years beyond retirement? I’m not advocating employing 95 year-olds. However, my hunch is if you have employees who will eventually reach the age of 100 then their current physical fitness is contributing to their productivity on the job.

Dan Buettner is the author of The Blue Zones, a New York Times Bestseller. The Blue Zones is a book providing “lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest.” Buettner does not target employers, but the principles shared certainly have implications for employee wellness.

The research is conducted among four groups of people who have a significantly higher percentage of inhabitants living to be centenarians, (100 years of age or older). The four Blue Zone communities are found in the Barbagia region of Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda, California in the United States, and on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

Studies have shown only about 25% of how long we live is dictated by genes—the other 75% is determined by lifestyle and choices. Buettner and his team paid close attention to the lifestyle similarities of these four Blue Zones and developed nine lessons to work into our lives if we desire to live longer…and more productive. What may be surprising to some, however, is many of the lifestyle choices are more “mental or spiritual” than “physical.” This supports a growing understanding of holistic wellness: Wellness programs focusing solely on nutrition and exercise lack essential elements of effective health promotion. Read more of this post

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