Employers Should Encourage Employees To Exercise

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Nuffield Health and the London School of Economics (LSE) have commissioned a report which reveals that four out of ten people blame work commitments for not regularly participating in sport and exercise. The report also indicates that employers play an important role in encouraging employees to exercise and suggests that if every person in the UK followed the government’s recommended daily amount of exercise, then over £7bn of savings could be made. Instead the report shows that 70% of adults do not meet the target of 150 minutes of exercise per week.

The report suggests that active people are not only 7% less likely to be obese, but they also reduce their risk of mental health problems by 6%.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Grace Lordon, Lecturer at LSE, said “One of the reasons people are not active is because of time pressure, so there’s a role for employers to play.”

Commenting on the role of employers, Andrew Jones, Managing Director of Nuffield Health, predicts two major changes to how employers deal with workers’ health and wellbeing in the next five to ten years. He said “We will see a growth in GP and mental health services at work, which will be linked to the fitness agenda. There’s a real demand especially for mental health resilience services among employers.”

“Health benefits for active people are priceless, but with increased pressures both in the workplace and at home, as well as the struggling economy, we, as employers, have a responsibility to help our workforce to be as resilient, fit and well as possible.”

“Although helping business to develop sustainable practices is important, it is the productivity and success of our people that has the greatest impact. Poor mental health can be very isolating, support is crucial, but wellbeing programmes and prevention can do so much more.”

David Mobbs, CEO, Nuffield Health, added “It’s about employers making small changes to the work place environment, to make it more active. Doing more physical activity can mean that health can become the new wealth.”

This latest research mainly drew on data from the Health Survey for England, but also information from the Continuous Household Survey, Health Survey of Wales and the Department of Health.


Mental Health Services Boosted By Bupa

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A new partnership has been formed between Bupa and the South London and Maudsley and the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trusts; both of which are national and international centres of excellence for mental health. The partnership will be taking on the role of clinical advisers in mental healthcare and will help the insurer to tackle some of the key challenges in mental healthcare provision, such as the need for a better understanding of the relationship between mental and physical health and the development of integrated services and support required.

Dr Katrina Herren of Bupa says, “These two organisations are internationally renowned for their mental health expertise. Through our work with them we are looking forward to significantly improving and differentiating our mental health services.” Private medical insurance news: 20 September 2013

Mental health is an increasingly serious 21st century problem, with one in four adults experiencing at least one diagnosable mental health problem at some point in their lives. Mental health accounts for up to 40% of time off work due to sickness. Only a quarter of those with common disorders, such as depression or anxiety, are receiving treatment.


Head of Operations – East Midlands


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Head of Operations – c.£60k basic plus 30% bonus – entrepreneurial International health screening business wants to recruit a commercial, Operations Manager to focus on and manage, product development, service delivery and sales support. Tech background in PHP helpful, but not essential in this up and coming 30 people tech based company. East Midlands.

Head of Finance – East Midlands


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Head of Finance – c.£60k basic plus 30% bonus – an entrepreneurial International health screening business is looking for a pragmatic entrepreneurial Finance Head to bring their corporate expertise to the SME market. You will support the board and run a small finance team ensuring the company meets all of its legal and financial responsibilities. East Midlands.

Head of Healthcare Management – Benefits


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Head Of Health Management – c90k plus bonus . – Major player in the Intermediary/ Benefits Consultancy market is looking to fill a high impact role running the Health Management Division, as an integrated element of the broader employee benefits proposition. You must have comprehensive knowledge of Health and Wellbeing. You will be working with the leadership team, managing the Health Management business, – defining and leading the strategy, whilst reviewing performance against business plan. You will offer a pedigree in Health and Wellbeing, be a natural leader and demonstrate strong commercial instincts.

Older Workers Prone To Health Problems As A Result Of Work-Related Stress

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Research by Canada Life Group Insurance has found that older workers are more likely to experience health problems as a result of work-related stress and an unhealthy weight, however younger workers are most prone to develop unhealthy habits whilst at work; with 40% of workers who are in their twenties stating that their job has been a cause of weight gain.

The study surveyed over 1,000 employees and provides an indication of the future health challenges facing the UK workforce, with the Office of National Statistics (ONS) predicting that a third of workers will be over 50 by 2020. 41% of employees aged 51-55 believe they have suffered ill health as a direct result of work-related stress, whilst almost a fifth (15%) said that an unhealthy weight had caused them to suffer from health problems. Despite these statistics, older employees appear to be less likely to be able to access healthy living benefits or initiatives from their employer with 21% of workers aged 21-50 being offered subsidised gym membership and only 13% in the 51-65 age range. Access to a health portal/website reduces from 9% in the under 50 age category to just 3% of those employees aged 51 and over.

Employees aged 21-30 are the most likely to say they have put on weight because of their job (40%), which is 4% more than the average of those surveyed. Younger workers are also the most likely to be develop unhealthy eating habits whilst at work, with over a quarter of those in their twenties (27%) skipping lunch or eating convenience foods when they are stressed or busy. Workers aged 21-30 are also the most likely to eat office snacks brought in by other colleagues (39%) and say that unhealthy food is readily available in their workplace (34%).

Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, commented:

“The UK population is ageing at an unprecedented rate, with the average employee age set to increase as a result. The fact that so many workers over the age of 50 suffer from ill-health as a result of work-related stress and an unhealthy diet or weight is therefore bound to have an increasingly negative effect on absence rates and productivity.

“It seems that these age groups are also being neglected when it comes to workplace healthy living benefits or initiatives. Although younger employees do not experience as many health problems, the fact that they are most likely to gain weight because of their job suggests employees of all ages would benefit from employer support in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Employers need to acknowledge the affect the workplace can have on their staff’s overall health, and ensure they are doing all they can to keep healthiness and happiness –and therefore productivity – on track.”


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