Flexible work schedules keep employees healthy

By • Published: March 28th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Working nine-to-five may not always be the way to make a living… at least not when it comes to your health. A new study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows that flexible schedules at work may yield healthier employees.

The study focused on three-thousand employees who were asked about their health habits and the flexibility of their work schedules.

The result? Workers who ranked their schedules as flexible enough to accommodate work and home life were more likely to exercise, eat right and get enough sleep compared with peers whose hours were less forgiving.

The researchers don’t know exactly why having a flexible schedule helps folks get healthy, but the answer probably lies in simple logic… the employee who makes his own schedule can control if he gets time to exercise and make a healthy dinner more than a worker whose schedule is structured by someone else.

Experts say employees with flexible hours may be healthier because they’re less stressed out by work-life schedule conflicts, too.

While a flexible schedule may help employees get healthier, it may not necessarily make every employee happier, though. A Northern Illinois University study found that flexible scheduling didn’t make too much of a difference for managers and professional workers, who already tend to have more flexibility in their jobs. But the switch did boost job satisfaction among blue-collar workers.

Either way, managers should take heed… keeping employees happy keeps them healthy… and on-the-job.