Physical Activity, Healthy Eating and Healthier Weight: a toolkit for employers
A healthier workforce can be more productive, take less time off sick and stay in employment for longer. Greater physical activity, healthy eating and achieving a healthier weight are critical strands of wellbeing and a contributing factor for a healthier and more productive workforce.
- Around a third of adults in England are damaging their health through a lack of physical activity.
- One in four women and one in five men in England are defined as inactive, doing less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
- The cost of an unhealthy workforce to the UK taxpayer has been estimated at over £60 billion per year.
- Employees who are in good health are less likely to need time off work and are likely to be more productive.
A lack of physical activity and poor eating habits leads to an unhealthy workforce. Around a third of adults in England are damaging their health through a lack of physical activity1. In fact, one in four women and one in five men in England are defined as inactive, doing less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.2 This is costing the UK taxpayer over £60 billion per year 3. Employers have a responsibility to provide safe workplaces that do not damage an employee’s health and environments that support healthier lifestyle choices.
A healthier workforce can be more productive, take less time off sick and stay in employment for longer.4 Greater physical activity, healthy eating and achieving a healthier weight are critical strands of wellbeing and a contributing factor for a healthier and more productive workforce.
Employers have a legal responsibility to support the health and well-being of their staff as part of their health and safety duties. Healthy employees drive a healthy business. Good physical health is closely linked to good mental health. Initiatives designed to encourage physical activity and healthy eating should focus on mental health as well as physical health.
Working in partnership with employees, employers can take a positive, proactive, preventative approach to support weight management and encourage greater physical activity. The toolkit joins the Business in the Community (BITC) and Public Health England (PHE) toolkit suite which takes an innovative co-production approach to the development of interconnected toolkits by consolidating the best evidence, practical actions and employer case studies.
By using this toolkit, employers can begin reversing the national obesity epidemic. It includes a checklist of actions for employers to take, under the broad themes of being prepared, encouraging physical exercise and healthy eating, and providing knowledge and training.
View and download the other five toolkits in this series developed in partnership with Public Health England
- The mental health toolkit for employers is our flagship publication and helps employers pick out the most valuable resources relating to mental health and develop an approach to a healthy workplace that really works
- Musculoskeletal health in the workplace: a toolkit for employers provides practical advice for employers regarding employee musculoskeletal health and reducing workplace absence (content developed in consultation with ARMA).
- Reducing the risk of suicide: a preventative toolkit for employers provides support and advice on how to incorporate suicide prevention into an employer’s workplace health and wellbeing framework (content developed in partnership with Samaritans).
- Crisis management in the event of a suicide: a postvention toolkit for employers offers practical advice for employers to follow in the aftermath of an employee suicide (content developed in partnership with Samaritans).
- Sleep and Recovery Toolkit: offering insight and advice on addressing the increasingly damaging sleep-loss epidemic affecting the nation (the toolkit is sponsored by Anglian Water).