Public Health England and Business in the Community have published a physical activity, healthy eating and healthier weight toolkit aimed at all employers which consolidates the best evidence, employer practice and aligned with the best freely available resources.
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.