Banking can be a rewarding career, but, like all job fields, it has its health hazards.
Stress, for one. Bankers make high-stakes decisions about their companies’ and clients’ financial futures. They have to cope with a volatile economy and stock market that can change their clients’ portfolios and their banks’ stability overnight. (One study found that when the recession hit, 93% of financial planners suffered PTSD symptoms like insomnia, anxiety and self-doubt.) Some finance professionals, like accountants, work extended hours during certain period of the year such as tax season, which can lead to added mental strain. And investment banking is notoriously hard on bankers’ minds and bodies.
Stress is a serious problem. It’s been linked to both minor and major health conditions, including cancer, heart attacks, high blood pressure, digestive disorders, migraines and back pain. And it’s costly. According some experts, stress costs businesses over $300 billion a year.
The ergonomics of a banking career can also lead to health problems. Most banking professionals spend much of their work days seated, and too much sitting can contribute to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, colon cancer, weak muscles and bones, poor circulation, spinal disk damage, back pain and neck and shoulder strain. People who sit for more than six hours a day are 18% more likely to die from diabetes, heart disease or obesity than those who sit for less than three hours, and 54% more likely to die of heart attacks that people who are less sedentary.
Bank tellers, on the other hand, often stand all day, which can lead to conditions like leg and back pain, atherosclerosis, varicose veins, tendinitis, knee problems and an increased chance of arthritis in the hips and knees.
But corporate wellness solutions can counteract these health risks. Here’s how:
Stress: Corporate Wellness solutions promote exercise and proper nutrition, both of which help people cope with stress.
Exercise releases endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote relaxation and well-being, and improves sleep. As little as five minutes of aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety. A proper diet that high in stress-reducing vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates also helps employees cope with the strain of high-pressure jobs.
Sitting: Corporate wellness solutions teach employees simple stretches they can do at work to relax the joints which sitting tightens.
They also encourage employees to integrate brief periods of exercise, such as taking the stairs or having a walking meeting, throughout their work days. These short movement breaks burn calories and get muscles working and blood flowing, alleviating the sluggishness caused by too much sitting. Plus, exercise and good nutrition improve the functioning of the musculoskeletal system, so employees are less likely to suffer strains from poor posture.
Standing: When employees stand all day, certain muscles are overexerted while others go unused.
Their joints can become temporarily “locked,” putting stress on their muscles, tendons and ligaments and making them more vulnerable to injury. Staying in one place reduces blood flow to their muscles, causing swelling and pain and sometimes leading to varicose veins. But exercise can counteract the effects of too much standing by improving circulation, increasing strength and stamina, stretching tight ligaments and tendons and taking the strain off overused muscles.
When you include all the other benefits of corporate wellness solutions, such as lower health care costs, increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, improved morale and increased job satisfaction, even a banker would agree: Wellness is worth the investment.
Interested in a corporate wellness solution that is perfect for banking companies?