Working women want to live healthier


One of retail pharmacy’s core customers — today’s working mom — is very much focused on health-and-wellness these days, and with good reason. With the emphasis on employee well-care to help drive down healthcare costs, coupled with the ongoing shift in the healthcare cost burden from insurer/employer to employee, it’s no wonder that a significant majority (85%) of working women are focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle or losing weight, according to a recent study from Work-Place Impact.

“It is no surprise that working women want to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Shelly Sekki, president of WorkPlace Impact. “Just how widespread this sentiment is creates a huge opportunity for brands to match products and marketing with working women who want to balance their work and personal lives,” she said. “This study reconfirms the commitment working women are making across all avenues from taking advantage of employer health programs to dishing about diet and recipes with co-workers.”

While most women (58.9%) reported that they have no health issues, pursuing a healthy lifestyle was still a main focus. As many as 13.9% indicated that they were looking to lose weight, and 12.3% stated that they are in a specialized program for specific health issues, such as diabetes or smoking cessation.

Nearly 53% of working women in 2014 reported that their employer has a wellness program above and beyond health insurance, up from 44% who said the same in 2012. The top three initiatives working women cited in their company’s healthy lifestyle program were weight-loss challenges (60.9%), exercise tips (54.5%) and onsite health screenings for such factors as cholesterol, blood-glucose, weight and BMI (49.8%).

Nine-out-of-10 participants reported that they regularly or occasionally exercised — 34% do so regularly). The most popular activity was outdoor exercise such as walking, running and hiking (97.4%). The second most popular was an indoor program at home (62.1%) and rounding out the top three was going to the gym, with 56% reporting that they regularly or occasionally visit a facility.

Keeping their eye on the health-and-wellness prize requires a steady support system, according to the survey. More than 8-in-10 women turned to others for support with their exercise plans, and 62% of working women sought that support when it came to watching what they eat.

And with weight-loss challenges being the most common item that employer-sponsored wellness programs offer, according to the study, the workplace provides ample opportunities for support. Brands can be positioned as supporters of the working woman’s need for help in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Working women turned most often to friends, family and coworkers for motivation in achieving their health-and-wellness goals. And more women have turned to apps (19.5%) and social networking sites (12.8%) for guidance, as well as healthcare professionals (14.2%) since 2012.

Despite the slight increase that texting and social networking sites saw, in-person interaction remained solidly at the top. With this in mind, a brand’s challenge becomes figuring out how best to be a part of those in-person interactions, WorkPlace Impact noted.

Other findings included:

  • Of those who indicated that their employer had a health-and-wellness program, a little more than 87% said that they appreciate their employers’ efforts;

  • The majority of working women indicated that the workday makes it easier for them to stick to healthy eating habits;

  • Fifty-nine percent of working women said they share tips about food to obtain or achieve a healthy lifestyle during the workday. As many as 53% said they share tips about diet, and 40% about exercise, for the same reason;

The study’s findings are gathered in “5 Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors of Working Women,” which polled 1,164 American working female consumers in late 2014.

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