The 3 sneaky S’s sabotaging workplace wellness

An unhealthy workplace is problematic… for many reasons.

  • It harms the wellbeing of your employees
  • It reduces the quality and speed of work
  • It inhibits innovation and energy
  • It causes absenteeism and other costly expenditures
  • It can stop your company from achieving results
  • And much more

 The stats don’t lie.

“The estimated cost of absenteeism to the Australian economy is $7 billion each year,” according to PriceWaterHouseCoopers.


“When an Australian study considered the combined effects of self-rated work performance and absenteeism data, they found that the healthiest employees are almost three times more effective than the least healthy, with the healthiest employees working approximately 143 effective hours per month compared to 49 effective hours per month by the least healthy,” states the Australian Government’s Comcare program.

So, an unhealthy workplace is a serious thing.

Introducing the 3 S’s sabotaging workplace wellness:

  1. Sitting
  2. Sleep
  3. Stress

Let’s take a deeper look at each…

1. Sitting is the new smoking

Dr. James Levine, author of the book, Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, shares that sitting is more dangerous than smoking. He says, “We are sitting ourselves to death.”

There’s data behind these claims, too.

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study that found people “who sat more than six hours a day died earlier than their counterparts who limited sitting time to 3 hours a day or less.”

To combat the sitting problem, many businesses are installing standing desks and implementing stand-up meetings.

Leaders also encourage their employees to take breaks, stretch, and do some sort of physical activity during the day.

2. Sleep deprivation is like coming to work at 0.06% blood alcohol level

“Losing four hours of sleep is comparable to drinking a six-pack of beer,” explains Tom Rath, author of Eat Move Sleep.

He goes on to say that it’s a tricky situation often impacted by negative influences, “Our culture views a person who needs sleep, as a person with a weakness. In fact, in the business world, many professionals take pride in burning the midnight oil.”

This doesn’t encourage people to get more sleep.

Plus, stress is usually a factor in poor sleeping, along with long work hours and lack of exercise.

If your employees aren’t getting the quality and quantity of rest they need, their work and their health suffer tremendously.

3. Stress is hurting your immune system

Stress over long periods becomes chronic, and the body can be greatly affected.

The immune system is comprised of tissues, organs, and cells working together, and it’s our defence system against disease and infection.

Dr. Mary Meagher explains, “People exposed to chronic social conflict experience high levels of stress and consequent dysregulation of the immune system, thereby increasing vulnerability to infectious and autoimmune disease.”

Having an unhealthy or stressful work environment can take a direct hit on your employee’s ability to keep coming to work (and performing when they’re at work).

How well is your workplace?

Looking at the Big 3 of Wellness above, how’s your company doing?

Is it a low-stress environment?

Do people seem well-rested or do they carry bags under their eyes?

How many people sit vs. stand throughout the day?

I encourage you to consider these aspects seriously.

It could be the difference between happy and sad, productive and sluggish, life and death.

Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!