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Why weight loss pays – the financial benefits of getting healthy from new sphinxx member and guest blogger Sally Symonds

A very big welcome to new sphinxx member and guest blogger Sally Symonds. Sally is a healthy life mentor, and specializes in fitness, work life balance and why weight loss is achievable, and pays. This is her first article with us, about the financial benefits of losing weight.

Everyone already knows about the health benefits of being fit and healthy, but what about the financial benefits?

One of the most common excuses that people use to avoid training sessions or eating healthy is that “they don’t have time”. Back when I was 100+ kg and working 100+ hours a week, I thought that my time was much better spent working and earning money, rather than eating well and exercising right.

Since then, I have seen the light and achieved a work-life balance. But all the gym memberships and pt sessions weren’t cheap. Not only was there was a big investment of sweat; the time and money I spent were also significant. But did they pay off? Anyone who has lost a lot of weight (and I have lost over 50kg, or 50% of my original body weight) will tell you that the personal benefits are worth any cost. But what would my accountant say?

Statistics show that for every point that you BMI is over your healthy weight range, it actually costs you $120 per year in medical expenses.* (So for me that’s over $10 000 saved already!). Corporate health programmes regularly boast a return on investment figure of between $3 to $5 for every $1 invested – so that’s another $10 000 return on my pt sessions last year alone!**  But certainly one of the most startling facts comes from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:

For the five-year period between 2001 – 2002 and 2006 – 2007, people who reported persistently good health also reported a 26% rise in the personal income from wages and salaries. People who reported persistently poor health actually saw their income decrease by 26% for the same period!***

To give you some idea of the specifics, fit and healthy people earning $50 000 per year in 2001 – 2002, were making $63 000 by 2006 – 2007. People in poor health on $50 000 per year in 2001 – 2002 were, on average, earning only $37 000 by 2006 – 2007. Clearly, being fit and healthy pays the bills!

I’m a very financially conscious person, but I actually didn’t need the statistics to tell me how much my weight loss has benefited my life – in every way.  It was a good investment in myself as a person, but it was also a good investment in my career.  As a business investment, very few other opportunities offer such a great ROI!


**  Aldana SG. American Journal of Health Promotion 2001; 15(5): 296-320

***  Nepal, B., Payne, A. and Brown, L, ‘Healthy, Wealthy and Wise? – The Relationship Between Health, Employment and Earnings in Australia’, AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Issue 23, July 2009, Sydney, AMP.


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