What Are the Benefits of Functional Fitness Testing to Clients?
Physical Benefits of Functional Fitness Testing
A physically active lifestyle, a healthy weight, and a moderate-to-high degree of cardiorespiratory fitness are important aspects of improving general health and overall well-being. Someone who is “physically fit” is associated with a lower risk for chronic conditions, like high cholesterol1-9 and preventable deaths and mortality.10-15
Physically fit individuals also experience:
- Reduced healthcare spending16-22
- Decreased productivity loss1,23-26
- Decreased absenteeism27,28
- Reduced short-term disability
- Reduced work days lost23, 2
- Overall enhanced mood and work performance6,30
Fitness is also associated with other non-health-related benefits, including:
- Increased worker income and overall family earnings31,32
- Lower debt33
- Lower long-term unemployment30
- Low turnover rates
- Job satisfaction
- Employer recruitment and retention of workers34-36
Emotional Benefits of Functional Fitness Testing
While physical fitness has been well established to be important for good physical health, the National Institute on Aging states there are also many emotional benefits to staying functionally fit:
- Social engagement
- Mental acuity
1. Carnethon M, Whitsel LP, Franklin BA, Kris-Etherton P, Milani R, et al. 2009. Worksite wellness programs for cardiovascular disease prevention: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 120:1725–41.
2. Diabetes Prev. Progr. Res. Group, Knowler WC, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Christophi CA, Hoffman HJ, et al. 2009. 10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Lancet 374:1677–86
3. Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Fowler SE, Hamman RF, Lachin JM, et al. 2002. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N. Engl. J. Med. 346(6):393–403.
4. Kurth T, Moore SC, Gaziano JM, Kase CS, Stampfer MJ, et al. 2006. Healthy lifestyle and the risk of stroke in women. Arch. Intern. Med. 166(13):1403–9.
5. PronkNP, Katz AS,Gallagher J, AustinE, MullenD, et al. 2011. Adherence to optimal lifestyle behaviors is related to emotional health indicators among employees. Popul. Health Manag. 14(2):59–67
6. Pronk NP, Katz AS, Lowry M, Payfer JR. 2012. Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project, 2011. Prev. Chronic Dis. 9:E154
7. Pronk NP, Lowry M, Kottke TE, Austin E, Gallagher J, Katz A. 2010. The association between optimal lifestyle adherence and short-term incidence of chronic conditions among employees. Popul. Health Manag. 13(6):289–85
8. USDHHS (U.S. Dep. Health Hum. Serv.). 2008. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: USDHHS
9. WHO (World Health Organ.). 2011. Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases, 2010. Geneva: WHO
10. Blair SN, Kampert JB, KohlHWIII, Barlow CE,Macera CA, et al. 1996. Influences of cardiorespiratory fitness and other precursors on cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in men and women. JAMA 276:205–10.
11. Helmrich SP, Ragland DR, Leung RW, Paffenbarger RS Jr. 1991. Physical activity and reduced occurrence of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N. Engl. J. Med. 325:147–52.
12. Kampert JB, Blair SN, Barlow CE, Kohl HW III. 1996. Physical activity, physical fitness, and all-cause mortality: a prospective study of men and women. Ann. Epidemiol. 6:452–57.
13. Kottke TE, Faith DA, Jordan CO, Pronk NP, Thomas RJ, Capewell S. 2009. The comparative effectiveness of heart disease prevention and treatment strategies. Am. J. Prev. Med. 36(1):82–88.
14. McGinnis M, Foege W. 1993. Actual causes of death in the United States. JAMA 270(18):2207–12
15. Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. 2004. Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000. JAMA 291(10):1238–45
16. Anderson DR, Whitmer RW, Goetzel RZ, Ozminskowski RJ, Dunn RL, et al. [Health Enhanc. Res. Organ. (HERO) Res. Comm.] 2000. The relationship between modifiable health risks and group-level health care expenditures. Am. J. Health Promot. 15:45–52
17. Anderson LH, Martinson BC, Crain AL, Pronk NP, Whitebird RR, et al. 2005. Health care charges associated with physical inactivity, overweight and obesity. Prev. Chronic Dis. 2(4): http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2005/oct/04_0118.htm
18. Goetzel RZ, Anderson DR,Whitmer RW, Ozminkowski RJ, Dunn RL, Wasserman J, Health Enhanc. Res. Organ. (HERO) Res. Comm. 1998. The relationship between modifiable health risks and health care expenditures: an analysis of the multi-employer HERO health risk and cost database. J. Occup.Environ. Med. 40(10):843–54.
19. Goetzel RZ, Ozminkowski RJ. 2008. The health and cost benefits of work site health-promotion programs. Annu. Rev. Public Health 29:303–23
20. PronkNP, Goodman MJ,O’Connor PJ, Martinson BC. 1999. Short-term cost to health plans of obesity, smoking status, and physical activity. JAMA 282(23):2235–39.
21. Pronk NP, Tan AWH, O’Connor P. 1999. Obesity, fitness, willingness to communicate and health care costs. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 31(11):1535–43.
22. Wang F, McDonald T, Champagne LJ, Edington DW. 2004. Relationship of body mass index and physical activity to health care costs among employees. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 46:428–36.
23. Burton WN,McCalister KT, Chen C-Y, EdingtonDW. 2005. The association of health status, worksite fitness center participation, and two measures of productivity. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 47:343–51.
24. Coulson JC, McKenna J, Field M. 2008. Exercising at work and self-reported work performance. Int. J.Workplace Health Manag. 1(3):176–97.
25. Goetzel RZ, Ozminkowski RJ. 2008. The health and cost benefits of work site health-promotion programs. Annu. Rev. Public Health 29:303–23
26. Pronk NP, Martinson B, Kessler RC, Beck AL, Simon GE, Wang P. 2004. The association between work performance and physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and obesity. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 46(1):19–25.
27. Aldana SG, Pronk NP. 2001. Health promotion programs, modifiable health risks, and employee absenteeism. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 43(1):36–46.
28. Bhui KS, Dinos S, Stansfeld SA, White PD. 2012. A synthesis of the evidence for managing stress at work: a review of the reviews reporting on anxiety, depression, and absenteeism. J. Environ. Public Health 2012:51574.
29. Burton WN,McCalister KT, Chen C-Y, EdingtonDW. 2005. The association of health status, worksite fitness center participation, and two measures of productivity. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 47:343–51
30. Crabtree S. 2014. Obesity linked to long-term unemployment in U.S. Gallup, June 18. Click Here
31. Conley D, Glauber R. 2006. Gender, body mass, and socioeconomic status: new evidence from the PSID. Adv. Health Econ. Health Serv. Res. 17:253–75
32. Kosteas VD. 2012. The effect of exercise on earnings: evidence from the NLSY. J. Labor Res. 33:225–50
33. Münster E, Rüger H, Ochsmann E, Letzel S, Toschke AM. 2009. Over-indebtedness as a marker of socioeconomic status and its association with obesity: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health 9:286
34. Berry LL, Mirabito AM, Baun WB. 2010. What’s the hard return on employee wellness programs? Harvard Bus. Rev. 88:104–12
35. Lavizzo-Mourey R. 2014. Workplace wellness: not just about dollars. LinkedIn, posted Jan. 17. Click Here.
36. Pronk NP. 2014. Placing workplace wellness in proper context: value beyond money. Prev. Chronic Dis. 11:140128.