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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Rebecca Robbins and Brian Wansink

Most workplace health promotion efforts have failed to consistently and sustainably encourage employees to take responsibility for their health. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Most workplace health promotion efforts have failed to consistently and sustainably encourage employees to take responsibility for their health. The purpose of this paper is to explore a potentially high-impact solution – Health Codes of Conduct – for engaging and motivating employees to assume responsibility for their health.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed methods study draws on interview and survey methodology with a sample of 149 working adults to examine the feasibility of Health Codes of Conduct. Descriptive and inferential statistics are calculated to understand reactions, characteristics of the companies likely to support the idea, and components of a Health Code of Conduct.

Findings

Nearly all employees offered moderate to high support for Health Codes of Conduct; this included overweight but not obese employees. Additionally, all demographic groups either moderately or strongly supported the policy when they included either monetary incentives (such as prescription discounts) or often overlooked non-monetary incentives (such as employee recognition). Some of the more popular features of Health Codes of Conduct included annual physical exams, exercise routines, and simply being encouraged to stay home when ill.

Research limitations/implications

Health Codes of Conduct offer a surprisingly well-supported potential solution. Favorable reactions were observed across all examined segments of workers, even overweight (but not obese) employees. Using the specific features of Health Codes identified here, visionary companies can tailor their company’s Health Code of Conduct with the appropriate monetary and non-monetary incentives and disincentives.

Social implications

What if the workplace could be a positive source of health and empowerment for valued employees? The authors show employee Health Codes of Conduct could be this empowering, engaging solution that has been missing.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to propose the concept Health Codes of Conduct and solicit feedback from employees on this novel idea. Furthermore, the authors identify both the monetary and non-monetary incentives and disincentives that employees believe would be most compelling.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Jaume Garcia and Climent Quintana-Domeque

This paper examines the associations between obesity, employment status and wages for several European countries. Our results provide weak evidence that obese workers are…

Abstract

This paper examines the associations between obesity, employment status and wages for several European countries. Our results provide weak evidence that obese workers are more likely to be unemployed or tend to be more segregated in self-employment jobs than their non-obese counterparts. We also find difficult to detect statistically significant relationships between obesity and wages. As previously reported in the literature, the associations between obesity, unemployment and wages seem to be different for men and women. Moreover, heterogeneity is also found across countries. Such heterogeneity can be somewhat explained by some labor market institutions, such as collective bargaining coverage and employer-provided health insurance.

Details

The Economics of Obesity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-482-9

Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Most workplace health promotion efforts have failed to consistently and sustainably encourage employees to take responsibility for their health. The purpose of this paper…

Abstract

Purpose

Most workplace health promotion efforts have failed to consistently and sustainably encourage employees to take responsibility for their health. The purpose of this paper is to explore a potentially high-impact solution – Health Codes of Conduct – for engaging and motivating employees to assume responsibility for their health.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed methods study draws on interview and survey methodology with a sample of 149 working adults to examine the feasibility of Health Codes of Conduct. Descriptive and inferential statistics are calculated to understand reactions, characteristics of the companies likely to support the idea, and components of a Health Code of Conduct.

Findings

Nearly all employees offered moderate to high support for Health Codes of Conduct; this included overweight but not obese employees. Additionally, all demographic groups either moderately or strongly supported the policy when they included either monetary incentives (such as prescription discounts) or often overlooked non-monetary incentives (such as employee recognition). Some of the more popular features of Health Codes of Conduct included annual physical exams, exercise routines, and simply being encouraged to stay home when ill.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to propose the concept of Health Codes of Conduct and solicit feedback from employees on this novel idea. Furthermore, the authors identify both the monetary and non-monetary incentives and disincentives that employees believe would be most compelling.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Dan Kearns

Changes in the nature of work, social policy, and concepts of disability allow increased potential for the integration of vocational rehabilitation (VR) in the workplace…

1223

Abstract

Changes in the nature of work, social policy, and concepts of disability allow increased potential for the integration of vocational rehabilitation (VR) in the workplace. Concurrently, workplace rehabilitation programmes are becoming more popular, as organizations see the value of VR in improving workplace culture and reducing insurance premiums. Investigates the opportunities for collaboration between rehabilitation and human resource management (HRM) at policy, planning and practice levels. Failure to integrate can lead to the VR programme being marginalized and needless duplication of activities. Concludes by calling for increased cross‐disciplinary training for both HR practitioners and VR professionals as a basis for effective integrated rehabilitation at the workplace.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2009

Patricia V. Roehling, Mark V. Roehling, Jeffrey D. Vandlen, Justin Blazek and William C. Guy

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether overweight and obese individuals are underrepresented among top female and male US executives and whether there is…

2028

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether overweight and obese individuals are underrepresented among top female and male US executives and whether there is evidence of greater discrimination against overweight and obese female executives than male executives.

Design/methodology/approach

Estimates of the frequencies of overweight and obese male Fortune 100 CEOs and female Fortune 1000 CEOs were obtained using publicly available photographs and raters with demonstrated expertise in evaluating body weight. These “experts” then estimated whether the pictured CEOs were normal weight, overweight or obese.

Findings

Based upon our expert raters’ judgments, it is estimated that between 5 and 22 per cent of US top female CEOs are overweight and approximately 5 per cent are obese. Compared to the general US population, overweight and obese women are significantly underrepresented in among top female CEOs. Among top male CEOs, it is estimated that between 45 and 61 per cent are overweight and approximately 5 per cent are obese. Compared to the general population overweight men are overrepresented among top CEOs, whereas obese men are underrepresented. This demonstrates that weight discrimination occurs at the highest levels of career advancement and that the threshold for weight discrimination is lower for women than for men.

Practical implications

Weight discrimination appears to add to the glass ceiling effect for women, and may serve as a glass ceiling for obese men.

Originality/value

This paper uses field data, as opposed to laboratory data, to demonstrate that discrimination against the overweight and obese extends to the highest levels of employment.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2000

Joseph A. Bellizzi and Ronald W. Hasty

An experiment was carried out to evaluate whether or not relevant and successful work experience would mitigate employment discrimination in cases involving women and…

1933

Abstract

An experiment was carried out to evaluate whether or not relevant and successful work experience would mitigate employment discrimination in cases involving women and overweight industrial salespeople. The study was conducted in a salesforce setting and used practicing sales managers as subjects. The results indicate that for obese salespeople, positive work experience improved their fit for a job assignment only when the job was less challenging. In the case of a more challenging assignment, successful experience did not seem to help; non‐obese salespeople, with and without successful experience, were both considered more fit than obese salespeople with successful experience. Men and women were found to be equally fit for both more and less challenging assignments.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 15 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 July 2018

Peter McTigue, Stuart W. Flint and Jeremé Snook

The aim of this paper was to explore commonalities between HIV/AIDS-related conditions, obesity and other disabling impairments as health-related barriers that limit…

Abstract

The aim of this paper was to explore commonalities between HIV/AIDS-related conditions, obesity and other disabling impairments as health-related barriers that limit opportunity and advancement in society and the workplace. Taking a number of examples from original fieldwork and European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) law, we posited that ‘disability discrimination’ under EU law remains an indefinite, imprecise and incomplete area that requires greater alignment with the social model of disability. The principle attributes of societal discrimination towards people living with HIV and obese people are that these conditions are perceived to be primarily or in some instances, solely caused by controllable factors related often to behaviours and lifestyle choices. Strong beliefs that these conditions are controllable are perceived as a justification and in some instances encouragement for the creation of stigma and discriminative behaviours that are unjust and uninformed. The structure of the paper is as follows. First, this paper postulated how and why stigma exists towards both individuals with disabilities and also obese individuals and people living with HIV; second, reviewed the legal framework on disability discrimination in both UK and EU courts that are directly relevant to the concepts of obesity and HIV-AIDS; third, presented critical thoughts as to the extent to which emerging decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU concerning obesity and HIV-AIDS accord with the social model of disability and fourth, offered an analysis of the implications of the UK and European framework and suggested possible interventions in this area.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-208-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 June 2018

Hasliza Hassan, Abu Bakar Sade and Muhammad Sabbir Rahman

The Malaysian lifestyle has been undergoing changes over time. With better socio-economic conditions, Malaysians tend to consume more food today than they did previously…

Abstract

Purpose

The Malaysian lifestyle has been undergoing changes over time. With better socio-economic conditions, Malaysians tend to consume more food today than they did previously. Excessive intakes of high calorie foods combined with little daily physical activity have led to increased numbers of overweight and obese people in the population. The purpose of this paper is to compare the incidence of overweight and obesity in the population in Malaysia with other Southeast Asian countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this research were based on secondary data of average weight, overweight and obese people for populations in the Southeast Asian countries. The analysis for this research focused on the population in Malaysia and compared it with populations from neighboring countries.

Findings

The population in Malaysia was ranked the second highest in the number of overweight and obese people in the Southeast Asian region. In addition, the rate of increase overweight and obese people in the population of Malaysia was found to be the highest in the region. Since the percentage of overweight and obese people had increased consistently from 2010 to 2014, there was a high possibility that the momentum would continue into the following few years.

Originality/value

Being overweight and obese was not desirable by the majority of people as it could lead to various health diseases and psychological problems. Unfortunately, the percentage of overweight and obese people in Malaysia seems to be increasing. Improved socio-economic conditions have increased the amount of food normally consumed by people. Although many people were found to be aware of the negative impact of being overweight and obese, the majority of them did not seem to take the initiative to reduce their body weight. This research is expected to create awareness of the alarming rate of increase in the number of overweight and obese people in Malaysia in order to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

Details

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4902

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Petter Lundborg, Kristian Bolin, Sören Höjgård and Björn Lindgren

This paper brings a European perspective to the mainly U.S.-based literature on the relationship between obesity and labour-market outcomes. Using micro-data on workers…

Abstract

This paper brings a European perspective to the mainly U.S.-based literature on the relationship between obesity and labour-market outcomes. Using micro-data on workers aged 50 and over from the newly developed SHARE database, the effects of obesity on employment, hours worked, and wages across 10 European countries were analysed. Pooling all countries, the results showed that being obese was associated with a significantly lower probability of being employed for both women and men. Moreover, the results showed that obese European women earned 10% less than their non-obese counterparts. For men, however, the effect was smaller in size and insignificant. Taking health status into account, obese women still earned 9% less. No significant effect of obesity on hours worked was obtained, however. Regressions by country-group revealed that the effects of obesity differed across Europe. For instance, the effect of obesity on employment was greatest for men in southern and central Europe, while women in central Europe faced the greatest wage penalty. The results in this study suggest that the ongoing rise in the prevalence of obesity in Europe may have a non-negligible effect on the European labour market.

Details

The Economics of Obesity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-482-9

Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Jay Bhattacharya and Neeraj Sood

If rational individuals pay the full costs of their decisions about food intake and exercise, economists, policy makers, and public health officials should treat the…

Abstract

If rational individuals pay the full costs of their decisions about food intake and exercise, economists, policy makers, and public health officials should treat the obesity epidemic as a matter of indifference. In this paper, we show that, as long as insurance premiums are not risk rated for obesity, health insurance coverage systematically shields those covered from the full costs of physical inactivity and overeating. Since the obese consume significantly more medical resources than the non-obese, but pay the same health insurance premiums, they impose a negative externality on normal weight individuals in their insurance pool.

To estimate the size of this externality, we develop a model of weight loss and health insurance under two regimes – (1) underwriting on weight is allowed and (2) underwriting on weight is not allowed. We show that under regime (1), there is no obesity externality. Under regime (2), where there is an obesity externality, all plan participants face inefficient incentives to undertake unpleasant dieting and exercise. These reduced incentives lead to inefficient increases in bodyweight, and reduced social welfare.

Using data on medical expenditures and bodyweight from the National Health and Interview Survey and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we estimate that, in a health plan with a coinsurance rate of 17.5%, the obesity externality imposes a welfare cost of about $150 per capita. Our results also indicate that the welfare loss can be reduced by technological change that lowers the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of losing weight, and also by increasing the coinsurance rate.

Details

The Economics of Obesity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-482-9

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