36% suffer from a chronic health condition

Sickness absenceMore than 36% of respondents are coping with a chronic health condition such as heart disease of diabetes, according to research by Britain’s Healthiest Company, alongside Vitality Health, the University of Cambridge, Mercer and RAND Europe.

The research, which is based on responses from 32,538 employees, also found that 61% of respondents have at least two health risk factors, such as poor diet or lack of exercise.

The research also revealed:

  • A third (33%) of respondents suffer from three or more risk factors.
  • 66% of respondents with with three or more risk factors believe their health to be good or very good.
  • 25% of respondents with the largest health promotion budgets saw a 16% year-on-year reduction in productivity loss. These respondents also reported an 8% year-on-year improvement in the proportion of employees in good or excellent health.

Shaun Subel, director at Vitality Health, said: “The findings should serve as a wake-up call for UK firms to do more to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff.

“The data shows that organisations with an authentic and positive culture of wellness see increased productivity from their employees. We would therefore urge all organisations, big or small, to protect their bottom line by taking an active role in improving employee wellbeing.”

Chris Bailey, partner at Mercer, added: “Employers have a unique role to play in influencing employee behaviours around health and wellbeing. Too many employees are unaware of, or in denial over their risk factors, which risk us sleep-walking into a chronic condition epidemic.”