Saturday 22 October 2016

40pc of workers 'physically inactive'

Published 04/04/2016 | 02:30

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Four out of 10 employees say their job is so sedentary that they are "totally or extremely inactive during the working day".

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The news comes as research shows the workplace is turning more of us into couch potatoes, with fewer reaching the recommended weekly target of 150 minutes or more of moderate exercise.

The Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF) found that only 26pc of the workforce is managing to meet this level of activity, down from 32pc only 15 months ago.

Forty per cent of people admitted they were sedentary and either "totally or extremely inactive" in their place of work.

The findings were released ahead of next Friday's National Workplace Wellbeing Day, when public and private organisations and businesses will be urged to take up the challenge to promote better employee wellbeing.

One of the highlights will be the "lunchtime mile", where workers will abandon their computer screens and office chairs to take part in some collective activity including a walk, cycle, run or jog.

"We spend so much of our lives at work that the workplace is the perfect place to promote better exercise and eating habits," said Dr Muireann Cullen of the NHF.

"Four out of five employees say they believe there is a posi- tive link between their health and wellbeing and their com- pany's productivity. Seven out of 10 also say they are more likely to stay longer with employers who show an interest in their health."

Half of all employers say they are already trying to help workers get healthier on the job.

The most popular types of support offered are Pilates or other exercise classes, annual health checks or screenings.

A third of employers provide showers and lockers for staff who combine exercise and work.

Irish Independent

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