Health and Wellbeing · 9 January 2018

The top health and wellbeing trends for 2018

What health and wellbeing trends can we expect in the coming year?
What health and wellbeing trends can we expect in the coming year?
Health and wellbeing encompasses an awful lot – from exercise and healthy eating, to mental health, stress and anxiety. New ways of tackling these ever-present challenges are constantly arising – so we decided to look at the latest health and wellbeing trends.

Looking after an employee means many things. It can mean fostering a culture in the office so that an employee doesn’t feel too stressed to take a day off sick, to encouraging employees to exercise, offering fruit or healthy snacks or starting sports teams.

It can also mean focussing on an employee’s mental health – helping to alleviate stress and anxiety, and offering a judgement free environment for employees to come forward if they have concerns about their mental health.

There are so many different ways employers can look after their staff – some of them tried and tested, others beginning to gain popularity. Here are a few health and wellbeing trends that we’re likely to see this year:

Mindfulness

Being “mindful” means being aware of something, and that’s exactly what mindfulness is. It’s about taking some time out of your day to appreciate what’s going on around you – to take a breather, and feel in touch with the present moment. Practicing mindfulness meditation revolves around focusing on breathing, and allowing thoughts and anxieties to come and go, without judgement.

Mindfulness has had a rise in popularity over the past year, and has become something of a buzzword. Apps have been created to help users get started, and the great thing is it can be done from anywhere – even a desk, while at work. This makes it a great thing for employers to recommend to staff, with the added bonus being that the less stressed and anxious they are, the more productive they are likely to be.

Mental health days

According to the CIPD, stress accounts for around 47 per cent of short-term absence, ad 53 per cent of long-term absence.

Mental ill-health already leads to employees taking days off sick, yet many are still too scared to speak to employers about it – in fact, just over a third are worried they would be fired for bringing it up. This can only add to stress, and business owners must strive to find ways to make the workplace culture more open to discussing mental health. Allowing absences for mental health days is a great way to signify this attitude.

Flexible working

Flexible working, or even working from home, can work wonders for many employees, especially those with commitments outside of work that can be quite time-consuming, such as caring for children or ill relatives.

With modern technology making it possible to access emails and video conferences. It’s easier than ever to have employees working remotely – and it’s not only beneficial to an employee’s wellbeing and morale, but can also save on a business’ costs and carbon footprint.

Taking wellness online

Speaking of technology, wearable tech to chart calorie counts, steps taken and heart rates are now proliferating on the market, and they can be good tools to raise awareness of health and wellbeing. For example, it can be a good way to highlight to desk-bound employees the importance of getting up and stretching their legs every now and then.

There are also options to take training courses in health and wellness online now, which can work out to be cost-efficient.

Overall, the world of health and wellbeing is constantly evolving, and trends come and go – but what’s important is that employers take the time to evaluate what can work in their businesses.

“Health” can mean many different things, but ultimately, a healthier workforce is a happier workforce – and that can only be good news for the bottom line.

For more information to help support the health and wellbeing of your employees please visit: axappphealthcare.co.uk/smallbusinessinsight

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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