Home > Health & Wellbeing > Health and Fitness at Work

Health and Fitness at Work

By: Ross Wigham - Updated: 28 Mar 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Health And Fitness Employee Wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is fast becoming the next big thing in employment relations, with many companies drawing a link between low productivity and the unhealthy lifestyles of staff.

Rising obesity, Stress Levels and sickness absence have all been blamed on things like bad diet, a lack of exercise and poor lifestyle choices.

The growing Long Working Hours culture in the UK coupled with the fact that most people work in an office environment all feed into what is becoming a growing problem. Few people have the time to exercise because of the demands of their job and with the growth of the 'desk diners' culture, junk food is also becoming a problem.

However, more and more employers and workers groups are pushing the heath at work agenda with some of the more forward looking businesses introducing employee wellbeing schemes.

Health at Work

Good health is currently moving up the corporate and public agenda with all sides agreeing that people in the UK need to focus more on healthy living.

The Labour government has launched a raft of public health initiatives but in the workplace companies are becoming more interested in improving heath because of the impact on staff.

According to the latest figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) the average employee takes eight days off sick every year at a cost to the economy of £599 per person.

Separate research suggests 200 million working days are lost to sickness absence every year, at the cost of an estimated £12bn to the British economy.

These figures are galvanising many firms into action and looking into schemes that can help staff improve their health. Other conditions such as obesity and stress-related illnesses are also being linked to poor health, which can ultimately lead to staff leaving work and not coming back.

More than a quarter of firms now have a health and wellbeing scheme in place designed to help improve the physical and mental health of their employees.

Some of these schemes include:

  • Stop Smoking Campaigns as well as support for staff looking to quit tobacco.
  • Regular health checks and advice for staff.
  • Healthy eating campaigns and dietary advice for employees.
  • Free access to Occupational Health professionals.
  • Confidential counselling.
  • Specialist advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Medical screening to identify serious diseases.
  • Advice on nutrition, exercise and relaxation.

Some companies now have a health strategy for their staff so you should check with the HR team in your workplace for any further details.

Fitness at Work

Most people say they would like to improve their fitness and employers are now getting wise to the fact that fitter workers are happier, healthy and less likely to be off sick.

Naturally fitness is a big part of being more healthy and the government has recognised this in a new strategy called Health, Work and Wellbeing - Caring for our Future.

This is designed to improve the health of all working age people through a coordinated process involving employers, employees and several government departments.

This strategy contains a range of ideas and initiatives to create more healthy workplaces and is currently being implemented by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Some of the various schemes to improve workplace fitness include:

  • Cycle to work initiatives, where employers provide access to bikes and cycle parking.
  • Sponsored step campaigns where workers agree to walk a certain distance in aid of a charity.
  • Any workplace can get involved in Sport England's Everyday Sport campaign which has loads of great ideas for keeping active while at work. A pilot campaign in the North East of England helped reduce sickness absence by 5% in just four months. Several employers got involved by arranging 5-a-side football tournaments; ban the lift days and office games.
  • Some workplaces offer subsidised swimming or arrange trips to local swimming pools during the lunch hour.
  • Employers will often provide some sort of gym membership scheme.
  • The BBC's Big Challenge was one of the biggest workplace fitness programmes. This brought together a range of experts to suggest ways of staying fit at work. It helped thousands of people transform their workplace through office workouts and shared exercise sessions.

More Sources of Advice

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Just wanted a copy of any information you have regarding the benefits of exercising at work and what the dangers are by not tackling this growing problem head on
Gymjo - 1-May-14 @ 12:38 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Daen
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I have been employed for 13 years. I have been on the sick depression and anxiety caused by bullying, they talking about dismissal through…
    5 August 2020
  • Cassie
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    I want to ask something if i informed my work that i hve problems at home an i cant always go in to work an they hve a problem with me…
    4 August 2020
  • Millie
    Re: Zero Hours Contracts Explained
    For 8 weeks I have been covering the "weekends" of another employee, Tue/Wed 9-5. My the owner or manager always confirms this…
    4 August 2020
  • Dan
    Re: Zero Hours Contracts Explained
    Hi, In my place of work, which is a very busy pizza shop, we are given shifts (for example 3pm-8pm) but when it reaches the end…
    4 August 2020
  • vicky
    Re: Objecting to Changes in an Employment Contract
    our company has been taken over and they have decided to change our pay to salaried which is fine ,my issue…
    4 August 2020
  • vinni
    Re: Eligibility To Work In The UK
    i am working in Thailand and now i want to work in UK having many position which i qualified but due to 'Right Of Work' status I…
    4 August 2020
  • dee
    Re: Exemptions to the Smoking Ban
    I bought my flat from the council last November when a new resident moved into the flat below, shortly before the paperwork went…
    3 August 2020
  • Melvon Patterson
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    I have been given a gross misconduct charge for health and safety breach I walked on pallets to put stickers on to be shelved but there…
    3 August 2020
  • Gamara
    Re: Employment Probation Periods: What You Need to Know
    My 3 month's probation period was due to end on the 6th April, however my workplace closed its doors…
    2 August 2020
  • Arun
    Re: Standing for Long Periods
    It is so sad to read about the workers who are working for long hours standing with pain. I really felt very sad after reading the…
    2 August 2020