by Elizabeth Smythe on June 25, 2013

posted on boyce recruitment updates,

Employers must act to promote well-being after study shows four-fifths are at risk

A sedentary existence is having a detrimental effect on the life expectancy of 86 per cent of British employees, according to a new study.

The ‘Britain’s Healthiest Company Report’, by PruHealth and consultancy Mercer, revealed that the majority of workers had a ‘health age’ of 4.1 years above their biological age. This is largely as a result of inactivity and being overweight. Men aged between 40 and 49 were most at risk of ‘ill health’, hrmagazine.co.uk reports.

The report paints a worrying picture for British employers, who in the coming years could be faced with increasing presenteeism issues from an ageing workforce. Absence costs the British economy millions of pounds every year, thus the news should serve as a wake-up call to employers to promote and implement well-being schemes.

These might typically include subsidised gym membership, free fruit in the office, health check-ups or even setting up a lunchtime running club for those with jobs in London and beyond.

Mercer’s John Anderson told wsandb.co.uk that in addition to “embracing employee health improvements”, employers need to collate and analyse health information so as to create targeted health and well-being initiatives.

The alternative, PruHealth CEO Neville Koopowitz warned, is “creating a time bomb for UK Plc.”