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Is your company among South Africa’s healthiest?

Press Release   •   May 06, 2014 13:59 GMT

Is your company among South Africa’s healthiest?

Join the Discovery Healthy Company Index survey and find out

Entries for the third edition of the Discovery Healthy Company Index will open on 02 May 2014. This, a day after Workers Day, is an opportunity for all South African companies to participate in a survey which looks at the health status of employees and provides valuable insight into how employers can improve health and wellbeing in the workplace.

The index is a partnership between Discovery, the world’s largest independent research group, RAND Europe as well as world leading academic institution, the University of Cambridge. The Discovery Healthy Company Index has become the benchmark in how healthy South African companies really are. It seeks to assess and find out the health status of corporate South Africa by understanding the impact of chronic diseases on both companies and their employees as well as understanding what companies are doing to effectively address employee wellness.

“As we commemorate Workers Day, the issue of employee wellness is an important one locally. This is also a priority globally because of the rising numbers of people diagnosed with chronic diseases of lifestyle, due to the poor lifestyle choices we make,” says Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Discovery Vitality Wellness. “Many of the poor decisions are a result of the environment we find ourselves in where the healthy choices are the hard choices. As employers we need to find ways to combat this growing disease burden by encouraging and assisting our employees to be healthier.” he says. “The Discovery Healthy Company Index provides a way to measure the health status of employees, and advise employers on how they can improve their employees’ health and wellbeing in the workplace, where many people spend the majority of their waking hours.”

The Discovery Healthy Company Index, which was first launched in 2011 and has grown in stature with roll out in to employers in Britain through Britain’s Healthiest Company. This is supported by the partnership with Cambridge University and RAND Europe. Several academic papers, in collaboration with Professors from Wits University, UCT and Prof Ron Goetzel from John Hopkins have been published in scientific journals.

The results of the 2014 survey, which will be announced later in the year, will not only help previous participating companies monitor their progress, but will also allow new participants to see the impact of their investment in health and wellness initiatives. “We have moved beyond the point of defining return on investment and impact on absenteeism” says Nossel, “Focusing on the health of our work force is good for business and critical for society.”

The results of the survey analysed and determined by RAND Europe and Cambridge University, will show how:

·  the burden of chronic diseases of lifestyle are affecting South African companies,

·  the prevalence and effectiveness of wellness facilities in the South African workplace,

·  to what extent South African employees engage in healthy behaviour and activities, and

·  an estimate of how many South African employees are at risk for chronic diseases of lifestyle.

“We are pleased to be the new academic partners to Discovery and are excited about delivering the research and analysis behind on this.  We hope that the research will provide all participants with a better understanding of the wellness of employees in South Africa and also provide an opportunity to address the health risk factors for companies,” says the Director of Employment, Education, Social Policy & Population at RAND Europe Christian van Stolk.

Only researchers will have access to information provided by companies in the survey. Reports will be sent to participating companies to inform them of how they fared in the survey and where they can improve. The Discovery Healthy Company Index is a great tool to manage health risks within your company and understand how health impacts productivity. For more information, please visit http://www.healthycompanyindex.co.za/


Discovery information

About Discovery Limited

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992 by the current Group Chief Executive Officer Adrian Gore, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.

The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over seven million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Singapore. Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 5.5 million lives in five markets.

Discovery is an authorised financial services provider. It trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange under the code “DSY”. 

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA 

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