Chronic non-communicable diseases (ncds), absenteeism and workplace wellness initiatives at a consumer goods company in South Africa
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Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading causes of deaths worldwide and are shown to be responsible for approximately 71% of deaths globally. NCDs mainly affect individuals of working age, resulting in high sick leave absences and loss of productivity in the working environment. This presents a major barrier to economic growth, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where the impact is greatest. Among the interventions identified in the South African Strategic Plan for the control of NCDs, is the implementation of wellness initiatives (i.e. diet and exercise interventions) in the workplace. This has been to improve overall productivity and decrease absenteeism. This study was therefore aimed at investigating the effect that participating in workplace wellness initiatives targeted at employees, particularly those that are overweight, hypertensive and diabetic at Nestlé, had on the number of working days lost due to sick leave from NCDs.