Many of us have the same reasons for wanting to exercise and lose weight…..look better, feel better, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, decreased risk of some cancers, lower risk of heart disease, etc.
But did you know that making your waistline thinner will also make your wallet fatter?
It’s true! Losing weight will help you earn and save more money. “Studies have consistently shown that obese employees are paid less than normal-weight employees doing similar jobs” (Source: HealthNewsDigest.com – Palo Alto, CA)
A comprehensive study of wages in 1998 found that obese workers earn significantly less than than non-obese employees. How much less? About $3.41 per hour. This discrepancy was found only in those workers who had employer-sponsored health insurance, perhaps suggesting that the higher costs of insuring obese individuals was being passed on to the employees themselves. (Source: Bundorf and co-author Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research).
So it’s possible that losing weight could eventually add substantially to your paycheck. But did you know that losing weight may also lower the amount of money you personally pay out in medical costs?
According to a study recently published in Health Affairs, obese Americans pay $732 more for health care each year than do normal-weight adults. So what would you do with an extra $732? Considering that $732 is more than double the annual cost of most gym memberships, it seems that joining a health club pays for itself.
We all have great reasons for wanting to lose that excess weight, and how we have two more: potentially higher wages and lower out-of-pocket medical expenses.
However, we do need to issue one word of warning…..when losing weight you may find that you need to spend some of that ‘saved money’ on a new wardrobe. After all, you will have to buy some new ‘skinny’ clothes!
Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute exercise studio for women focusing on fitness, health and nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit http://www.letspickupthepace.com/ for more information.