45% of European employers view sedentary lifestyles as key health concern

Rebekah Haymes

Almost half (45%) of European employer respondents cite sedentary lifestyles as a key health concern, according to research by Willis Towers Watson.

Its [email protected] research, which surveyed 1,669 employers across Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, also found that almost three-quarters (74%) of European employers are concerned about workplace stress.

The research also found:

  • A third (33%) of European respondents name presenteeism as a top health-related concern, 31% point to obesity, and 31% cite poor nutrition as a concern.
  • 41% of European respondents say a lack of budget hampers their approach to employee health and productivity, and 37% name a fragmented delivery programme as an issue.
  • 85% of European respondents plan to increase their commitment to employee health and productivity programmes in the next three years.
  • 71% of those which intend to step up their efforts will primarily focus on strategies that build a culture of health and wellbeing in the workplace.
  • More than half (53%) of European respondents offer staff access to biometric screening, 58% provide health risk assessments, 62% offer vaccinations, and 61% provide workplace diet or exercise initiatives.

Rebekah Haymes (pictured), senior consultant at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Lifestyle health risks can have a profound and lasting negative effect on both individual and organisational performance.

“Employers which understand the risks of their own employee population are likely to have greater success forging a holistic health and productivity strategy, than employers which take a scattershot approach offering individual, disconnected programmes.”