When one considers that recent research has revealed “1 in 3” UK employees have vital sign readings which are higher than recommended levels this is cause for concern.
These findings come from the Water Wellpoint UK Workers Health Check Report, which found a concerning proportion of the UK workforce to be overweight or obese – this problem affecting two thirds of the male work-force and 44% of female workers, the most concerning fact is this is not new news!
There have been a number of studies conducted; all coming to the same conclusion. Now we have proven time and time again that this problem exists we need to seriously address the issue.
The results for this particular report were gleaned from health checks taken by employees at interactive kiosks placed at various points throughout the UK. The kiosk checked vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, weight, body fat content, hydration quota and BMI – body mass index.
As well as the weight issues it was also found that one in five of the females checked were suffering from high blood pressure, in men this was one third.
Checks also indicted that UK employees do not drink enough and I am not talking of the alcoholic kind, 49% of women and 59% of men were under-hydrated according to recommended guidelines. Not only does staying hydrated help staff to stay healthy and alert, proper hydration also helps regulate blood pressure.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure…
Employees are an obvious asset for employers but they become a liability when figures from 2009 tell us that sickness absence cost the economy £16.8 billion!
Poor attendance due to illness also places employees in the line-of-fire and more vulnerable to redundancy, particularly during a weakened economy, but whose responsibility is the employees health, solely theirs or do we have a responsibility to incentivise them to keep them on the right track?
Whether it is a company 5-a-side team or yoga classes in the office of an evening we need to play our role in keeping our staff fit and healthy. There are so many benefits not just for your organisation but for us as a nation.
A large proportion NHS resources are taking up treating illnesses which could have been prevented by a well balanced diet and active lifestyle, we need to instil such behaviour in generations and to do this we need to instil this lifestyle into ourselves today.
It costs a lot less to keep employees healthy than it does to help them get well and back to work after an extended bout of illness. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure is not just an old wives tale, it is plain old fashioned good common sense – no matter at what level.