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The quiet health revolution

Eurest | Health and wellbeing |  08 October 2015

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Rachel who works upstairs is a sucker for a mid-afternoon chocolate fix and Andrew in accounts is famous for his love of a full English.

The health and wellbeing of our nation is a much debated topic but should the health of your workforce matter to you?

Emphatically yes. Employee health is now a hard, economic factor of production that matters; an unhealthy workforce has high rates of sickness that costs your business.

Every year in the UK approximately 200 million days are lost through sickness absence; that’s an average of 8.5 days lost per annum per worker (Bevan 2010).

“My, who’d have thought it?”, you say. But, interestingly, one of the findings of work done on behalf of Investors in People UK (Bevan 2012) is that statistics like this have little impact on encouraging people in your role and similar to make policy changes. It’s too general — so let’s break it down further: if you’ve got 200 people in your company, on average, on any working day between six and seven of your staff will be off sick. Now that matters.

And then there’s the connected issue of how eating the right food at the right time — and even structuring breaks in the best way — can boost your people’s productivity, helping your business run more efficiently in a way that can only benefit your bottom line.

It’s more than time that we as an industry take workplace health and wellbeing as seriously as we take other areas, such as research and development or investment in technology.
Greater nutritional awareness as part of an over-arching health and wellbeing strategy is something we’ve been promoting and nurturing for some time now, and it underpins our open and honest ethos about what’s in the food we serve.

So let’s work together to support Rachel and Andrew in making healthier choices. This is a vital area for you, so it’s a vital area for us — and one we’ll be visiting again very soon.

Bevan, S, 2010, The Business Case for Employees Health and Wellbeing, [online], The Work Foundation. http://www.theworkfoundation.com/downloadpublication/report/245_245_iip270410.pdf, (Accessed 13 November 2012).

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