Office workers lacking time for health and wellbeing

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Over a third (35%) of those whose work is mainly or solely office based spend less than an hour on physical exercise a week, with 9% doing none, a survey by Age UK and Bupa has found.

Activities to improve wellbeing such as reading were given an hour or less per week by 48% of office workers.

Mental wellbeing was similarly squeezed with 52% of office workers spending no time at all on mental wellbeing activities such as mindfulness and meditation.

Efforts to recognise and tackle stress were undertaken by 27% of office workers, the survey of 2,061 UK adults with 660 working in an office, conducted by YouGov found.

The survey also found that activities to improve health and wellbeing were being incorporated into workers' daily lifestyles with 53% taking stairs instead of a life and 33% making time to visit friends and family.

The majority (65%) of those surveyed said they would like to change their current lifestyle to prepare for a healthy later life with 64% of those taking action already doing so to reduce the risk of future health conditions.

Laurie Boult, head of fundraising at Age UK, said: "Research has shown that looking after our mental wellbeing is just as important as protecting our physical health when it comes to ageing.

"While genes have an effect, 75% of the factors that lead to longer life are within our own control, like lifestyle and nutrition.

"Everyone can take steps to help them age better and it's never too early or too late to start."

Richard Adams, Chief Nurse at Bupa UK, said: "As well as employees thinking about their health, we would urge employers to create an environment where their workforce can take time to lead healthy, active lifestyles, and lead by example.

"The risks of not thinking ahead are high - dementia, diabetes are just two examples of diseases that are potential outcomes of unhealthy lifestyles."

Further Reading:

Adviser clinic: AXA PPP's top health and wellbeing concerns for people and businesses

Unum launches workplace wellbeing 'MOT' tool

Employers' election wish list includes staff wellbeing

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