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Employers must ‘embrace staff health initiatives’, expert says

A new report has inferred that the majority of British workers are doing some serious damage to their health through lack of exercise and bad diet, writes.

While the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle are well known, the ‘Britain’s Healthiest Company Report’ reveals the extent to which the damage is being done and emphasises the employer’s role in promoting well-being.

Compiled by insurer PruHealth and consultancy Mercer, the report questioned 10,000 British employees and discovered that 89 per cent of them were at an increased risk of ill health due to inactivity – in addition to poor nutrition. This in turn could lead to absence, which comes at significant cost to the economy.

Mercer’s John Anderson said that due to the hours spent in the office, “work environments play a crucial role in shaping health”; hence employers need to embrace health and well-being initiatives. These might include the creation of lunchtime walking clubs, offering free fruit and subsidised gym membership.

In addition to improving health and productivity, these schemes could also serve as an attraction tool in the recruitment process – demonstrating that an employer values its staff.

“Employees who feel their employer cares about their health and well-being are more likely to be more engaged and loyal, resulting in higher productivity, higher profitability and higher customer support,” he told


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