We all know the benefits of keeping ourselves fit and healthy. Aside from the raft of conditions it can help to prevent, like heart disease, diabetes and some cancers, exercise can improve our self-esteem, mood, sleep quality, energy and stress-levels.
Less consideration is perhaps given to the benefits of a healthy workforce. It’s likely that many employers don’t give much thought to the health of their workforce as a whole, but if you imagine all the benefits of being a healthy individual and then scale that to the size of a workforce, you’ll quickly realise that it can have a big impact on the running of an organisation. Indeed, there are some benefits that are of particular relevance to businesses.
By definition, a healthier workforce is a less sickly workforce - and that means fewer days of absence being taken by staff. That’s not to be sniffed at, so to speak, given that UK businesses lose over six days to absenteeism per employee every year, according to the Chartered Institute for Professional Development (CIPD).
Not only do healthier employees take less time off work through sickness, it’s also been proven that they’ll be more productive when they are in work. One survey found that employees who ate healthily throughout the day were 25% more likely to perform better in their roles and that those who exercised for at least 30 minutes three times a week were 15% more likely to perform better.
Finally, a healthier workforce is also a happier workforce. This, of course, is a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people naturally feel better when they are healthy. In addition, though, it is linked back to our two previous points. Workforces that have lower rates of absenteeism are under less pressure, while more productive workforces get more done in the time available.