The examples of action described in this Toolkit illustrate that even relatively simple interventions incurring minimal cost can have a significant impact. It is therefore worthwhile for all companies to consider investing in the health and wellbeing of their employees for the benefit of their business as well as the workforce.
Additional Toolkits are being produced with the support of expert partners to address additional health and wellbeing issues, including emotional resilience, musculo-skeletal health, drugs and alcohol use and physical activity.
An integrated approach to workplace health
To be effective, this and other Toolkits must be used in conjunction with the Healthy Workplace Action Pack and not as a standalone module. We have learned that rather than undertaking piecemeal initiatives, adopting a holistic approach which integrates health and wellbeing into overall business strategy is most likely to produce measurable business benefits.
The Foresight Obesity Study, sponsored by the Department of Health, estimates that if current obesity patterns continue, by 2050 about 60% of men, 50% of women and 25% of children in the UK will be obese.
The current total annual cost to the NHS of overweight and obesity has been estimated at £1 billion, and the total impact on employment may be as much as £10 billion. By 2050 the NHS cost of overweight and obesity could rise to £6.5 billion and the associated chronic health problems are projected to cost society an additional £45.5 billion a year (at today’s prices). ‘Tackling Obesities: Future Choices’ Foresight Project, 2007
Call to action: the Healthy Workplace Commitment
In her review of workplace health for the Government’s Health Work Wellbeing Executive, Dame Carol Black highlighted the need for employers to better understand the business case for investment in the health of their workforce. Business in the Community desk research reveals that most FTSE
00 companies are not reporting
consistently on health and wellbeing in their companies or using any quantitative measures. We are therefore calling on companies to commit to reporting on workplace health in their businesses. Our goal is to ensure that 75% of FTSE 00 companies are reporting on workforce health and wellbeing by 20.
Help us achieve this goal by committing your company to reporting on workplace health, including the impact of your healthy eating initiatives. You can learn more about the Healthy Workplace Commitment and how you can achieve it from Business in the Community’s Business Action on Health campaign.
Alex Gourlay, Managing Director, Boots Chair, Business Action on Health Campaign
Three quarters of people in the UK are not eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The Department of Health estimates that eating enough of these foods could help prevent up to 20% of deaths from heart disease and some cancers.
Cancer Research UK survey by NOP World/Department of Health 2005