Some 85 per cent of UK employees feel they would be more productive at work if they were able to stick to positive lifestyle adjustments, with half trying to make long-term changes but only seven per cent saying they were able to do so.
A study of 2,000 adults by Bupa found that more than half of employees said they tended to let the changes slide after a few weeks.
Despite the difficulty in making changes in habits, the overwhelming majority of workers thought they would be more productive if they were able to stick to positive lifestyle changes in the long-term.
Many felt their employers could help, with nearly half saying they’d want their work to help. Some 48 per cent said a regular wellbeing review would help with this.
Bupa carried out the research to tie in with its launch of a range of health assessments to help firms engage their employees in their health and wellbeing to create a more productive workforce. Employees receive ongoing coaching during and beyond the assessment to help map out a clear route to a healthier lifestyle, as well as digital support to stay motivated to reach goals.
Dr Steven Luttrell, medical director at Bupa UK, said: “Clearly we all want to be healthier, but currently don’t feel supported to reach our goals and this means we are struggling to make our health resolutions to stick.”
“Improving the wellbeing of workers in the UK needs a proactive effort, yet unfortunately many employers are failing to see the value of health and wellbeing initiatives,” he added.
Three quarters of employees have chosen to change their lifestyle to feel more physically healthy, with nearly half changing to improve mental health.
The top behaviours people wanted to change included exercising more (65 per cent), losing weight (61 per cent), eating less sugar (48 per cent), managing stress and drinking less alcohol (both 36 per cent).
Lack of willpower and simply being too busy were the main reasons given for employees failing to make the changes.
As part of the initiatives launched by Bupa, employees involved also get access to Bupa Boost, a digital innovation enabling employees to set personal goals and track their progress against friends and colleagues.
Luttrell said the assessments “are able to provide the support people need to make healthy lifestyle changes”.
Bupa hopes that as “goal setting” is the most used method employees implement to change their lifestyle – used more than rewards, self-monitoring and peer support – its gamification technology would help drive behavioural change by tapping into people’s natural desire for achievement and recognition.
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