24th March, 2016

DB News

Health and Wealth

Financial security, health and personal happiness are strongly related to one another.  Mahatma Gandhi, was quoted as saying, “It is health that is real wealth.”   In other words, health is as much of an ‘investment’ as equities or bonds.  An unhealthy life is an unattractive situation, no matter how much money a person has.  It, therefore, makes no sense to destroy your health in the process of accumulating money and, in turn, reduce your earning ability due to poor health.  Both health and wealth require proactive action and are jeopardised by simply doing nothing.

Below are some examples of specific relationships between health status or behaviours and personal finances:

  • Healthy lifestyle choices, such as proper diet and exercise, increase the odds of living a long and healthy life.  People who live longer have more time to enjoy the opportunities that financial security present. This can be anything from travelling the world in retirement, to continuing to save to pass on your wealth.
  • Healthy people (non-smokers and those in normal weight ranges) pay lower premiums for life insurance, compared to smokers and those who are overweight. Pricing reflects the strong association between lifestyles, the prevention of health issues, and additional years of life.
  •  Higher health costs, in general, affect those with health ‘issues’ (e.g. hypertension and diabetes) the most, due to the ongoing cost of prescription drugs and other expenses.
  • Overweight and obese individuals and smokers often pay more than others do for certain expenses such as health, disability, and long-term care insurance.  In addition, ‘Big and Tall’ sizes for men and ‘Plus-Size’ clothing for women are estimated to cost 10% to 15% more than regular-size clothing.

So what all does this information really mean? It means that health and wealth are strongly related and changes in one area of life can have positive effects upon the other.

So what have we done to improve health and wellbeing within our own team?

  • Complementary gym membership
  • Weekly boot camp sessions
  • Health insurance which rewards healthy activity with cinema tickets and travel discounts
  • 20% of our team wear pedometers (instruments that record the distance travelled on foot)
  • Daily press-up challenge
  • Supporting individual goals including some of our team competing in half and full marathons, a 500-mile bike ride and a 10-mile swim (not all at the same time!)
  • Promoting healthy eating (although we still like the odd cake or two)

Our motivation to help is that we want all our employees to bring the best of themselves to work every day.  In turn, we hope that you benefit from our healthier workforce.

So is now the time to take control and live the life you want to lead?