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New Families and Work Institute Study Reveals Declines in the Health of American Workforce
Date:9/21/2009

rcent of employees have access to paid vacations with an average yearly time off of 16 days. However, 39% of employees don't use all of their vacation time and 24% take five or fewer days for longest vacation. Eighty-two percent of employees with 13+ paid vacation days say they are "not at all likely to leave their jobs" compared to 68% with 6-12 vacation days.

Building upon other studies stemming from the 2008 NSCW data, FWI's State of Health in the American Workforce report also explores various components of effective workplaces and what impact they have on employee health. Among the interesting findings: being treated with respect by managers and supervisors has a stronger effect on the mental health of low-wage/low-income employees than middle- or high-wage and -income employees, and men are more positively affected by having economic security in their jobs and a good fit between their work and personal or family lives, while women are more positively affected by being challenged in their jobs and by having autonomy.

"In the daily grind of our busy lives, it's easy to forget the price we eventually pay when we fall short on important things like sleep, diet or exercise," said FWI Senior Research Associate and report co-author, Kerstin Aumann. "This report demonstrates how our workplaces -- where we often spend most of our waking hours -- can help or hinder our personal well-being and health. Our findings serve as a wake-up calls for employers and employees alike to take a closer look at how their organizations affect people's health and well-being"

The new FWI study is fully downloadable at www.familiesandwork.org, where you can also take a simple quiz to evaluate how well your work and life fit together.

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