We have become an immobile nation. On average, workers in the UK spend 60% of their waking hours sitting down – and if they’re office-based, this can rise to as much as 75%.
Official government data shows that 29% of people in England are classed as physically inactive, meaning that they do less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity in total per week, even though that can be split into three 10 minute sets. And sadly the statistics are likely to be similar throughout the whole of the UK. We really are sitting still – and the effects of this inactivity are huge, and include an increased risk of diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease and premature death. It is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability, and directly contributes to one in six deaths in the UK – making it as dangerous as smoking.
The health repercussions of this are felt throughout the business world – sickness absence is estimated to cost UK businesses the vast sum of £27 billion per year – and inactivity is a large and combatable contributor to this.
It is vital that business leaders take a more pro-active role in providing opportunities and encouragement for their employees to be more active at work. Employee wellbeing needs to become a fundamental part of business, with a strong focus on increasing activity levels and improving health.
Progressive companies are introducing a wide range of incentives, including lunch-time yoga classes, increased use of standing workstations, balance boards, or exercise balls available to use instead of chairs, personalised activity plans, and even offering vouchers for shoes for people who walk to work. There are plenty of changes, small and large, that can be made – you just need to figure out what will work best for your team. These types of preventative actions lead to increased wellbeing and therefore reduced absence rates, and studies have also shown that they can also improve work productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction.
We can help you to take care of your team by providing:
- DSE assessments to ensure that workstations allow staff to move dynamically
- a range of sports and remedial assessments
- on-site massages
- advice on developing strategies to increase opportunities for movement
For help with creating or developing your company’s employee wellbeing programs and moving towards a healthier future, , click here to read further details of our Health and Wellbeing services and contact us on 0141 244 0181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.