Research shows that mental health, high body mass index and high blood pressure are the biggest challenges to the workforce health over the next five years.

mental health issues

Bosses and managers of medium and large sized firms believe that mental health (51%), obesity (44%) and high blood pressure (30%) are the biggest threats to their employees’ health over the next five years, according to a poll commissioned by AXA PPP healthcare.

Paradoxically, 60% of respondents believe that the health of the UK’s workforce will improve in the next five years despite these threats. Encouragingly, 78% of managers and bosses acknowledge that, as an employer, they have some responsibility for their employees’ health. Asked how they would have felt about this proposition five years ago, only 67% said that they would have agreed with this view.

Additionally, most of the respondents (74%) currently work for businesses which have an employee health and wellbeing strategy in place while, of those who don’t have one, over half (58%) say they are planning to introduce one within the next few years.

Chris Horlick, distribution director for AXA PPP healthcare, commented: “To achieve [well employees], it’s important for employers to consider their workforce as a whole and introduce health and wellbeing strategies that also tackle any specific health needs. It’s essential to provide solutions that support healthy, active lives and, for employees who should become ill or injured, provide early access to investigation and treatment for an early recovery and return to work.”

The research also highlighted the role of technology in driving employee wellbeing, with 67% of respondents believing it will play an increasingly important part in their organisation’s health and wellbeing strategy over the next five years.

Horlick concluded: “The extent of employers’ interest in employee health and wellbeing and their acknowledgment that they have some responsibility for employee health are both welcome findings. The challenge is to turn this goodwill into meaningful action through a more strategic approach to health and wellbeing management programmes that deliver measurable, sustainable benefits to employees and employers alike.” 

If wellbeing is an area of interest, register HERE to attend our free* Wellbeing in the Workplace event in Manchester, which will be covering physical, mental and financial wellbeing.