Research from GRiD, the industry body for the group risk industry shows that 34% of employers don’t offer any support for the physical wellbeing of staff. Changes to lifestyle can reduce the risk of cancer, so support for physical wellbeing can be an important way for employers to help their staff in terms of prevention.
Furthermore, only one in five (20%) employers offer initiatives to encourage staff to be more active to improve their health, and only 14% offer training on specific areas such as smoking-cessation, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle.
Supporting the physical wellbeing of staff is integral to full, holistic support of staff, and there are many ways that employers can do this. From encouraging lunchtime walks and standing meetings, to providing access to specialists to advise on nutrition and health.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, says, ‘The options available for employers to support the physical wellbeing of staff are constantly being developed. We’ve seen some exciting initiatives in our own industry, from access to expert health professionals to wellness apps. The health and wellbeing industry is creative and we see tangible results in the workplaces of those employers that implement them.’
Support for physical health isn’t just about treatment, but about prevention and early intervention too, and it’s important that all are considered when employers are looking at how to support staff best. Programmes can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a workforce, taking into account age, gender or particular health concerns of a workforce demographic.
Moxham concluded, ‘Cancer is a leading cause of claim across all group risk products: employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness, so we know just how much cancer affects employees and their companies. The financial support offered is fantastic at a time when people need it most, but it’s important that all the other support – both in terms of prevention and early intervention – are not overlooked: they play an incredibly important part in employers looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.’
How employers look after the physical wellbeing of their staff
|If requested, we will arrange access to professional support such as seeing a specialist||21%|
|Initiatives to encourage staff to be more active and to improve their health||20%|
|Discounted gym membership||18%|
|We have insurance in place to provide support, such as seeing a specialist (this might include private medical insurance or employer-sponsored income protection)||18%|
|We fund private healthcare treatment if necessary||17%|
|Training on specific areas such as smoking-cessation, nutrition, fitness, lifestyle||14%|
|Access to apps/technology to monitor and improve health and fitness||11%|
|We provide free or discounted healthy eating||11%|
|We don’t offer support for the physical wellbeing of staff||34%