Photo of a women doing yoga in the wilderness

How a healthy lifestyle can lead to healthier finances


Winter is finally over, and it’s time to bid adieu to cold and flu bugs that spent the last few months floating around on their evil party circuit. The same ones that dropped in for a visit with you, uninvited.

They made themselves comfy in unsuspecting noses, throats and stomachs. The result? Sneezing, coughing hosts with dodgy bellies who couldn’t wait for these germs to leave. As these unwelcome microbes vanish, and as you dust off your yoga mat, keep in mind that we British Columbians are a healthy lot.

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A woman runs along the Vancouver seawall in Olympic village

The Conference Board of Canada gives B.C. an “A” on key healthy living indexes, scoring it high against other provinces and countries. For overall health, B.C. ranks first in Canada. If it was a country, it would rank third behind Switzerland and Sweden.

For life expectancy, B.C. tops all provinces. If B.C. was a country, it would rank third behind Switzerland and Japan.

The Conference Board of Canada’s 2013 report, Health Matters: an Economic Perspective, also links health to the economy, saying, “[…] the collective state of population health in Canada has implications for the health care system itself, and the economic performance of the country.”

It’s hard to draw connections between your health and the economy, but employer wellness programs and policies can make a difference. A Forbes article, “The Causes And Costs Of Absenteeism In The Workplace,” quotes a Centers for Disease Control study which found sick food handlers are responsible for 53% of norovirus outbreaks.

But besides taking advantage of sick days, using your wellness plan (and the money saved not paying out of pocket expenses) can keep you healthier on a financial level. If you use your plan’s coverage and add the $75 you would have spent on a physiotherapy treatment to your RRSP, you’re also investing in your financial health. Or why not top up a child’s RESP with the $120 (average amount) that you would normally pay the dentist for a cleaning?

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New eyeglasses can cost as much as $1,000; while you may have to pay a portion, your plan’s coverage could mean extra dollars for your credit card payment.

Plus, if you eat right, exercise regularly and use employee wellness benefits, you’ll continue to inspire similar health outcomes across Canada.



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