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Employee health – prevention better than cure

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New research conducted by the UK’s leading health screening service provider, ToHealth, has found that over half of employees believe that their employers have some responsibility for their health and wellbeing, while just 35 percent felt that their current employer actually cared about this.

Robin Skinner, General Manager at ToHealth explains, “Nowadays people are more aware of the potential health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle such as Musculoskeletal conditions and feel that their employers should be helping them to combat work related health issues.”The survey, carried out in conjunction with YouGov also revealed that 66 percent of employees would like to attend an on-site health check in the workplace.

While some employers do now offer cycle to work initiatives and gym memberships, confidential on-site health screenings can offer the tools a business needs to more effectively maintain a healthy workforce whilst at the same time boosting morale and productivity. Robin Skinner, General Manager at ToHealth explains, “Employers often don’t understand what health screenings can do. They provide an understanding of the state of health of the entire workforce and where problems lie. This is important if HR professionals are to effectively target education, advice and help.” While ToHealth’s investigation revealed that 45 percent of those surveyed would value a free annual healthcheck, many people who are offered health screenings, do not take up the offer. “It can mean half a day or more out of the office and away from their desks, but a convenient, confidential, on-site screening can have up to 80 percent uptake,” says Robin.

Six in ten (59 percent) respondents also said they would be likely to attend a free health check lasting 30 minutes. This figure rose to 67 percent among 18-24 year olds. The Government has sought to encourage employers to improve general health within their organisations through its Health, Work and Wellbeing and Fit for Work initiatives. The latest NHS Five Year Forward View, places great emphasis on preventative measures and calls for lessons to be learned after similar warnings more than a decade ago were not heeded.

In 2013 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the UK labour market lost 131 million days due to sickness absence. Siew Li McGowan, Clinical Lead for Corporate Health at ToHealth comments, “Health screenings are often not seen as a priority until absenteeism becomes the driver. By conducting these basic health screens you can capture the state of health of an entire company and target support in areas where needed.”

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