Seven health risk factors affecting workplace health

The most recent Healthy Survey for England found that 93% of adults in England have at least one major health risk factor. More than a third were found to have three or more of the seven established risk factors including overeating, binge drinking and failing to take regular exercise. The survey showed that: One in five adults smokes A third of adults drink more than the recommended allowance A third of men and half of women do not get enough exercise Nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese Only a quarter of…Read more

Middle-aged people make the best workers

While some middle-aged workers feel as though they are ‘past it’ in the workplace, a new study shows that middle age represents development rather than deterioration. According to David Bainbridge, an academic from the University of Cambridge, middle age offers many positives. While skin suppleness and short-range eyesight may deteriorate, elements such as brainpower remain virtually undiminished. Moreover, better planning and management skills compensate for loss of reaction speed. Over-40s at the top of their game Writing in the New Scientist, Dr Bainbridge explains: "Middle age is a controlled and pre-programmed process, not…Read more

How lifestyle changes can improve the health of your staff and help reduce sickness and absence

In 2010, the Atlanta Centre for Disease Control published the results of an eight-year study of more than 23,000 adults aged between 35 and 65. It claimed that the “four golden rules” for a long life were as follows: Stay slim: by maintaining a BMI of under 30, which means you can be a little overweight but not excessively Don’t smoke. Take regular exercise: defined as at least 3.5 hours per week Eat a healthy diet: a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods, as well as avoiding salt and…Read more

Liver disease cases rise by 40%

Chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, reported a 40% rise in liver disease during the past decade when she presented her annual report in March. Professor Davies claimed that a “huge increase” was yet to be recorded as the disease typically takes decades to appear and because people in the UK drink approximately twice as much as their counterparts did 50 years ago. Sickness absence management for alcohol problems Commenting on these findings, Richard Holmes, Head of Employee Wellbeing Services for medical risk management specialist, Medigold Health, said: “In part, this could be…Read more

The impact of the ‘Monday blues’ on UK business

Like ‘man flu’, the ‘Monday blues’ is often considered an exaggerated condition and one that should not be taken seriously. However, research from health charity Mind suggests that the Monday blues could actually be behind a significant amount of sickness absence. Health in the workplace has become increasingly worrying for employers, with sickness absence costs continuing to rise. Figures from Mind show that: 25% of Brits feel their weekends are ruined by the thought of having to return to work on Monday morning 25% said they have cried at work as a result…Read more

Sickness absence levels need tackling

According to government research, as many as 960,000 employees were on sick leave for a month or more each year on average between October 2010 and September 2013. Around 300,000 people are believed to end up out of work and in the welfare system each year due to health-related issues. The cost of sickness absence is high for: Taxpayers, who pay approximately £13 billion a year collectively in health-related sickness benefits Employers, who pay out a collective £9 billion in sick pay and related benefits Sickness absence costs businesses a huge amount of…Read more

UK sickness and absence rate one of highest

The UK has one of the highest sickness and absence rates with an average 9.1 days off work taken for sickness taken by UK workers – so says a report from Price Waterhouse Cooper (2013).  This compared to 4.9 days in the US and 7.3 days for Western Europe. UK employees were found to be taking fewer unscheduled absence days compared with two years ago (9.8 days in 2013 versus 10.1 days in 2011), but the number of days taking for illness rose from 8.7 days in 2011 to 9.1 days in 2013.…Read more

Long-term sickness absence costs £6.5 billion each year

According to a study carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the cost of sickness absence to the private sector is approximately £3.1 billion each year. When the cost of sickness absence within the public sector is added, the total reaches a hefty £6.5 billion. The research, which was conducted on behalf of income protection provider Unum, focused on long-term illness and injury that spanned more than six months, as this type of absence has the most significant financial implications for companies and organisations. It showed that around 300,000…Read more
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