Obesity hits the workplace
According to the Department of Health, 18 million working days are lost due to obesity-related health problems every year in the UK.
Obesity in the workplace is becoming a major issue. Recent research among 22,000 workers revealed that 48% of UK employees have excess body weight, and 14% are considered clinically obese.
Workers who are classified as obese report significantly less productivity than those who are not, and report nearly twice as much sickness absence than employees with normal body weight profiles.
For most employers the preferred method of tackling obesity is to encourage a healthier lifestyle among all their employees. They might offer free fruit and subsidised low-fat meals in the staff restaurant. They might offer health promotion days including advice on weight loss. Flexible working and subsidised gym membership could be provided. In some cases, workers might also be given coaching and counselling to help tackle the root causes of the weight problem.
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