Poor health costs the UK economy £138 billion a year, mostly in the form of absenteeism and decreased productivity with an average of 49.7 days lost, according to Vitality.
According to Vitality’s 2023 Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey, the majority of lost hours are attributed to unproductive work brought on by health concerns. Workers in the UK miss 6.1 days of official leave on average annually.
The study found that mental illness is the biggest threat to productivity; those who are at risk of burnout, fatigue, or depression miss 151 per cent, 141 per cent, and 120 per cent more days as a result, respectively.
Physical health problems including inactivity, obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, and poor diets add 14 per cent, 54 per cent, and 28 per cent to lost time. Compared to workers over 50, younger workers (those under 30) lose 64 per cent more output to health issues.
Vitality CEO Neville Koopowitz says: “Our research clearly shows the impact of health and wellbeing on productivity in the UK, and the implications for the UK economy are concerning.
“The data highlights the complexity of the problem facing UK employers, but also the opportunity for benefit if it can be addressed. Businesses must recognise the importance and impact of facilitating a healthy workplace, one that acknowledges employees’ mental and physical health needs.
“Action needs to be meaningful and informed, and employees need to feel that their wellbeing matters and be educated and encouraged to use the support available. If health at work is properly managed, business and the wider economy stand to gain significantly.”
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