Staff want to live healthier – but they’re too busy

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Workplace productivity would improve if employees were able to make positive lifestyle changes, according to new research from Bupa – with 85% saying they’d be more productive if they could make – and stick to – changes.

However, just over half (52%) of employees admitted that their changes often last only a few weeks, and only 7% say they have been successful in overhauling their lifestyle on a permanent basis.

Physical and mental health are key factors to the majority of those employees looking to make a change, with 73% saying they want to feel more physically healthy and nearly half (46%) wanting to improve their mental health.

However, lack of willpower and busy lives are cited as the two key reasons that hold them back in their quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle – and they want employer help.

Nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said they would value a regular wellbeing review at work, and 44% also said they would value their employer helping them make positive changes.

Dr Steven Luttrell, medical director at Bupa UK said:  “Clearly we all want to be healthier, but currently don’t feel supported to reach our goals and this means we are struggling to make our health resolutions stick. Improving the wellbeing of workers in the UK needs a proactive effort, yet unfortunately many employers are failing to see the value of health and wellbeing initiatives. By supporting staff to make positive lifestyle changes, employers can also benefit from healthy and productive workforce.”

“We believe that a personalised approach is key to supporting people to change to a healthier lifestyle. Some people will want to set goals; other will enjoy peer support or competition, whilst others like prompts and reminders.”

Carl Chapman, head of workplace health at Barnett Waddingham, has been blogging for Reward about wellbeing. Read his blog HERE, and watch an interview with him HERE.