More Investment Needed in Well-Being at Work
The NHS Public Health Chief has said that employers need to invest in more well-being strategies, including yoga clubs, standing desks and ‘walking meetings’
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, is supporting small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs) in setting up these strategies, which also include running clubs and ‘quit smoking’ motions. He emphasised that he feels the UK’s £5.5 SMEs could seriously help combat the £29bn annual bill for sickness absence, while also improving productivity and increasing profits.
Selbie told the Observer:
“SMEs are the backbone of the nation’s workforce and can kickstart a revolution in helping their staff to improve their health. People spend 30, 40 or sometimes 50 hours a week at work. That’s a unique opportunity for employers to use that big chunk of someone’s week to care for their health”.
He added “Employers could adopt group exercise challenges, such as ‘Couch to 5k’ or lunchtime run clubs, and promote active travel like cycling to work. Being regularly active is one of the best ways to prevent and manage poor musculoskeletal health and combat stress, which are both major causes of sickness absence.
“Everyone benefits from a healthier workforce: employees, who will enjoy better health and be less likely to be off sick; employers, who will reap the benefits of increased productivity; and the NHS, which will have less poor health to deal with.”