New research by Bupa Health Insurance has highlighted the need for greater support for UK workers if a workplace health time bomb is to be avoided.
The survey of the UK’s ten biggest cities revealed that more than 40% of people say they are overweight, around 66% don’t eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and more than 40% tuck into a fast food meal at least once a week.
Only about a third of people admit to doing some form of moderate physical activity every day, and only around a quarter say they are a member of a gym or sports centre. When it comes to sleep, around four out of 10 people are getting less than the recommended seven to eight hours rest a night.
What's more, stress levels are also on the rise with 45% of the people questioned, admitting that they are feeling under pressure with concerns about their family health and rising costs related to the credit crunch.
A healthy business requires a healthy workforce and employers should be encouraged to create a climate in the workplace where employees are motivated to take greater interest in their wellbeing.
Bupa offers a free online health assessment tool to all its corporate health scheme customers which gives employees access to a series of health assessments focusing on the four areas of health and wellbeing (namely nutrition, fitness, sleep and stress) that are proven to impact on performance at work. Employers benefit from regular reports to help track trends in the health of their staff and develop meaningful prevention programmes, ultimately improving its performance.
Deputy medical director for Bupa UK Health Insurance, Dr Paula Franklin, commented... "Our research shows that people need all the support they can get to ensure their health and wellbeing remains intact. Employers need to respond to this and create an environment that encourages their workforce to take a more proactive approach to their health."