90% of absences from work in Finland are short-term sickness absences, which not only affect the health of the individual employee but the whole company’s productivity and finances. A study on the employees of the City of Helsinki found that 30% of these sick-leave costs are purely due to unhealthy lifestyles, which can be easily saved by providing employees with the right health tools.
It’s no news that sickness not only affects an individual but puts a considerable burden on the society, healthcare systems as well as businesses. On average, the OECD countries — which includes the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, major EU nations along with Germany, France and all the Nordic countries — spend around 2.1% of their GDP on sickness benefits.
In addition to work-related risk factors (such as accidents), sickness absences are directly related to unhealthy lifestyle choices among employees, such as low physical activity, poor diet, sleep quality, heavy alcohol consumption and smoking. In fact, recent research by the Department of Public Health (University of Helsinki) on Finnish employees found that as much as 30% of sick-leave costs are purely due to unhealthy lifestyles. The study also found that employees with unhealthy behaviours have more sickness absences, rendering higher costs for employers.
The study found that unhealthy lifestyle choices lead to higher sickness absences among employees. Based on this, the researchers calculated its direct cost (in terms of salary) to employers. They found:
Read the full research paper here.
The study found that while the number of employees with 3 or more unhealthy behaviours are less (9.5%), over 20% of the employees had 2 unhealthy behaviours.
Monetarily, for a large company with around 40,000 employees, this would mean a direct additional cost of €17.6 million over ten years, or, nearly €2 million every year: and this is just salaries.
In this study, the researchers only looked at the direct cost (salary) of short-term (up to 10 days) sickness absence due to unhealthy behaviours. The true costs are obviously much higher. Sick leaves decrease productivity, cause delays in production, delivery as well may lead to cancellations — all much bigger cost for the employers than the mere salary costs calculated in this study.
Good news is that there is an easy solution — providing employees with the right tools that not only measure their health but also help them understand it better and keep them motivated to improve their daily lifestyle.
This is where My Nightingale comes in. The blood test and app use advanced technology to summarise an employee's health into easy to understand scores that highlight how daily choices affect their body. However, knowing and measuring isn’t enough. Behavioural change is key. The My Nightingale app, therefore, comes with everyday health tips and advice for each health result to help make easy lifestyle changes that improve long-term health. A free follow-up test is included in every package so that employees can track their progress and stay motivated.
With the My Nightingale blood test, companies can help their employees:
All this makes My Nightingale the ultimate new health tracking tool for employees to get a detailed view of their health along with actionable insights to improve everyday lifestyle and prevent illnesses.