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Two people biking in a park Investment in employee well-being starts by redefining “health.” This means going beyond the “absence of illness” as our primary measure. (Photo: Shuterstock)

We’re facing unprecedented levels of poor health—from obesity and chronic health conditions to loneliness, which poses a significant health risk equal to that of smoking. And employers are feeling the impact. According to the Centers for Disease Control, absenteeism related to chronic conditions like obesity, smoking and physical inactivity was associated with annual costs greater than $2 billion per risk factor. On the flip side, when employees are happy and healthy, they’re more productive, have lower medical costs and are better able to focus on their jobs, leading to tangible financial benefits.

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