UK employees’ health in bad shape

New research into the health of UK employees has revealed that nearly a third had a vital sign reading higher than recommended.

The Water Wellpoint UK Workers Health Check Report revealed that two thirds of male and 44% of female employees are overweight or obese.

The report, based on health checks undertaken at interactive kiosks by employees around the UK, also showed that one third of men and one in five women have high blood pressure.

The vital health signs tested by the kiosks include weight, hydration quota, body mass index, body fat content, heart rate and blood pressure.

The health checks also revealed that employees are not drinking enough fluids to stag hydrated, as 59% of men and 49% of women showed a fluid intake lower than recommended guidelines.

Rory Murphy, external affairs manager, Water Wellpoint commented on the implications for employers: “First and foremost, of course, is the concern that individuals’ health and wellbeing is under pressure simply because they are overweight.

“But this then highlights the potential costs to employers of sickness absence, because there is clear medical evidence that being overweight can cause health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc which can lead to a greater likelihood of people being off work sick.

“And we have a concern that workers who have a pattern of poor attendance may find themselves more vulnerable to redundancy whilst employers continue to focus on cost savings.

“The impact on the NHS of healthcare for this significant proportion of the working population is also a considerable concern, especially at a time when there is so much pressure on public sector costs.”

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