Importance of health and wellbeing

Proactively promoting and implementing health and wellbeing strategies in the workplace and enabling staff to choose healthier options or lifestyles is key to preventing illness arising in the first place.

Working adults spend a third of their waking hours in work which means workplaces are key spaces for improving wellbeing. 

It is estimated that workplace health and wellbeing programmes could save between £130 and £5,020 for each participating employee by reducing their absence or illness at work (NICE).  

A healthier workforce has many business benefits including reducing sickness absence and staff turnover, and increasing productivity, staff morale and employee engagement. 

employees who are in good health are less likely to need time off work and are likely to be more productive

The impact of an unhealthy workforce

In the UK, 131 million days are lost to sickness absence every year, with the main reasons being minor illnesses, musculoskeletal problems, and stress, depression and anxiety. The following statistics from Public Health England demonstrates the need to proactively address workplace wellbeing:

  • employers spend £9bn each year on sick pay and associated costs
  • 42% of employees experience at least one period of sickness absence in a year
  • 4.4 days are lost on average for each worker due to sickness absence
  • the UK workforce is getting older; by 2020, it is estimated that 1 in 3 British workers will be over the age of 50 years
  • the proportion of people reporting long-term conditions or disability also increases with age; of the 7.2m people aged 50-64 who are employed, 42% are living with a health condition or disability
  • 1 in 3 employees with a long-term health condition have not discussed it with their employer

How we can help you

The Worcestershire Works Well scheme aims to provide you tools and guidance to successfully improve the health and wellbeing of the workforce and therefore reduce sickness absence rates. If you have not signed up for the scheme yet, please see our Getting started and signing up page.

4.4 working days are lost on average for each worker due to sickness absence