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Being engaged with your work may be good not only for your career, but it may be good for your health as well. New research has found that engaged workers are more likely than disengaged counterparts to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Overall, engaged workers were not only more likely to eat healthfully and exercise more frequently, but they were also more likely than disengaged counterparts to eat their fruits and vegetables.
"Engaged employees are deeply involved in and enthusiastic about their work," said Daniela Yu and Jim Harter of Gallup, who conducted the research and wrote the report. "Those who are not engaged may be satisfied, but are not emotionally connected to their workplaces and are less likely to put in discretionary effort. Employees who are actively disengaged are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace and jeopardize their teams' performance."
These findings fall in line with those of previous research, which found that engaged workers are less likely to be obese and suffer from chronic diseases. Additional research found that engaged employees were also 21 percent more likely than disengaged employees to participate in health and wellness programs that are offered by their company.
"Taken together, the data showcases the link between being engaged at work and leading a healthy lifestyle," the report said . "It is not clear, though, which way the relationship between engagement in the workplace and healthy behaviors goes. It is possible that workers without healthy lifestyles are more prone to illness, which then reduces their chance for being engaged at work, or that those who are actively disengaged are less likely to take part in healthy behaviors, perhaps due to time or a depressed outlook on life."
These findings have particular have importance not only for employees, but for companies as well. In particular, Yu and Harter say that companies who try to improve employee engagement may see improved energy and productivity from workers while also reducing health care costs.
The research was based on the responses of 353,563 adults over the age of 18.