Weighing up workplace efficiency

27-10-2005

Being overweight and having a poor diet reduces productivity in the workplace, a survey has shown. Research carried out by health charity Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP) showed 56% of Scots thought a person's weight could affect their work.

A further 72% believed the type of food you eat has an impact on your job.

DPP spokesperson Dr Andrew Thomson said workers would be amazed at the difference a healthy diet could make to their working day.

Launching the "Working your way to a fitter day" campaign, the DPP said people should have access to advice on how to manage their diet and activity levels both inside and out of the workplace.

Seven out of 10 Scots workers blame eating badly at work for weight gain and 49% of those surveyed said a lack of time and work stress made it difficult for them to be motivated to eat healthily.

Dr Thomson said making small changes to your lifestyle could have surprisingly good results.

"As most people spend the majority of their week at work, it makes sense that information on how to incorporate healthy changes into their lives should be available at work," he added.

"Particularly, as Scots have a reputation for poor diet and for generally unhealthy lifestyles.

'Motivated workforce'

"Even the smallest of steps can make a significant improvement to your energy levels and health. Get help to stop smoking, cut down on alcohol and eat healthier snacks and meals. You will be amazed at the difference."

Lisa Buck, of Scotland's Health at Work, said: "We believe that improved access to healthy options at work would benefit both employers and employees.

"A healthier workforce helps reduce sickness absence and creates a happier more motivated workforce."

National Obesity Forum president Dr Ian Campbell said: "Jamie Oliver has highlighted the positive effects that healthy eating has on children during their day at school - we now need to ensure that this principle is applied to the workplace.

"Employers have enormous potential to gain from creating an environment which helps workers achieve healthier lifestyles and make healthy choices."

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 107 working adults from Scotland by telephone between 30 September and 6 October this year.

BBC News

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