Heart Disease, Stress and Depression Top List of Workforce Health Problems

In a survey, national employers singled out heart disease, stress and depression as the three illnesses they expect to impact American workers in the next decade.

A national survey of Fortune 1000 companies found that 90 percent of human resource executives believe workforce health is very important to business, yet at the same time, approximately 40 percent said corporate America is not doing a good job managing employees' health.

These findings come from 231 respondents of major U.S. corporations which was commissioned for the "Corporate America Health Summit 2000," a gathering of healthcare leaders on the relationship of employee health and business performance.

Participants in the summit include corporate medical directors, human resource executives and benefits managers from companies, such as American Airlines, General Motors and Microsoft.

In the survey, the H.R. execs also singled out heart disease, stress and depression as the three illnesses they expect to have the greatest increasing impact on the effectiveness of American workers and executives in the coming five to 10 years.

"This survey underscores the importance human resource executives place on the health of their employees, as well as their sense of responsibility for maintaining a healthy work force," said David Guilmette, managing principal at Towers Perrin, the management consulting firm that conducted the study.

Cardiovascular disease, stress and depression outpaced gastrointestinal problems, allergies and respiratory maladies, cold/flu and addiction, all of which were predicted to have the same or less impact than today on the future effectiveness of the workforce.

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