Britain’s sedentary workers cost the UK economy billions

British adults have strolled into 2017 either overweight or obese; despite around 35 per cent making a new year’s resolution to lose weight in 2016.

Alarming figures reveal that 63 per cent of British workers have strolled into 2017 either overweight or obese; despite around 35 per cent holding a new year’s resolution to lose weight last year.

However, disappointingly less than 10 per cent actually stuck to these promises. With so many living such an unhealthy lifestyle, it has proven to have a detrimental effect on Britain’s industries.

It was discovered that absence rates due to lifestyle related diseases is costing the British economy over £8.2 billion per year. Not only that, employees develop problems in the workplace, such as low energy levels, decreasing productivity and work morale. Of course there are multiple lifestyle and economic factors that alter the likelihood of certain individuals being obese or overweight.

In correlation with National Obesity Awareness Week occurring this week, looked at which industries are most in danger of putting on weight due to the nature of their career choice. Statistics highlight that those working in leisure and hospitality are the least likely be at threat, with those overweight and obese at 52 per cent; 10 per cent less than the national obesity average of 62 per cent.

In contrast, those working in administration are those most at danger, with obesity rates of 77 per cent; a substantial 15 per cent higher than the national average. Income was measured as one of the predominant factors, which professionals classify as a significant reason for obesity.

Doctor Alison Tedstone, director of diet and obesity at Public Health England claims, ‘Obesity is closely linked to deprivation levels. However, that is not the only factor taken into account when measuring levels of those who are overweight and obese. Other factors such as activity levels during work and working hours account for obesity in the UK.’

Darren Best, MD of, says, ‘Multiple industries are losing millions of pounds a year due to workers being increasingly absent due to sickness, as well as an advance in prejudice against those overweight. Managers must encourage their employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle both in and out of the office.

‘We encourage our employees to get out of the office during lunch hours, which not only keeps you active, but refreshes the brain, keeping our employees productive. It is vital that senior staff and managers take time out of their schedule to do this, influencing a healthy workforce.’

Further reading on healthy workers

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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