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City businesses can create stability by investing in the health of their workforces, explains Reed Momenta director Harry MacMillan. The undeniable link between staff wellness and business output has made workplace wellness difficult for employers to ignore. In 2015, UK businesses lost 139 million working days through...

City businesses can create stability by investing in the health of their workforces, explains Reed Momenta director Harry MacMillan.

The undeniable link between staff wellness and business output has made workplace wellness difficult for employers to ignore.

In 2015, UK businesses lost 139 million working days through illness and injury (ONS, 2016).

We can safely predict that, without significant action, the huge costs of health-associated absenteeism and ‘presenteeism’ are likely to increase sharply. For example, obesity is likely to affect almost half our adult population by 2025 (NHS Digital, 2015).

Obesity is a standalone and significant risk factor for many other long-term chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

In times of uncertainty, what can UK businesses do to incur some stability and create a more secure future? Supporting employees to improve their health and wellbeing is an increasingly popular approach.

Studies have demonstrated that a healthy workforce is linked to a more positive and productive business environment, with a reduction in absenteeism and an increase in performance, productivity and staff retention. Most employees welcome the support of an employer for the wellbeing of its workforce and can feel more valued and appreciated as a result.

Many businesses – including those based in the City – will offer a health benefits package that employees are able to turn to, should they experience a health issue that requires medical attention. Ideally, measures should be proactive, support staff at all pay grades to feel healthier and happier and prevent health issues that can lead to sickness, absence or a decline in performance.

This is where City LivingWise comes in.

Commissioned by the City of London Corporation, this free service helps City-based businesses to encourage a healthier workforce, by providing completely free health services delivered by experts.

City LivingWise supports low paid / high risk City workers, such as those in service and manual roles, to become more active, manage their weight, and – if aged 40 to 74 – undertake a free NHS Health Check. Employees can book into local services, or employers can arrange bespoke events.

The service includes a free 12 week weight management course – written by experts in psychology, dietetics and physiology – to help employees discover a sustainable approach to losing weight. Eligible staff can also attend a fun and supportive hour-long session during a lunch break or in the evening, to learn about the relationship between activity, weight, and nutrition and be empowered to make positive lifestyle changes.

City LivingWise is delivered by health experts Reed Momenta. Square Mile organisations keen to benefit from this free service should visit livingwise.org.uk/city for more information, call 0207 616 2338, or come along to a free business breakfast event taking place in the City on Thursday 15 June.

To find out more, get in touch at businesshealthy@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

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