Over a quarter of workers are sitting down for more than nine hours a day, with worries that the spread of COVID-19 and remote working may lead to this figure increasing even further, with nearly three-quarters of those in HR stating there is a link between physical fitness and absenteeism.
Westfield Health has found that 26 per cent of employees sit down for more than nine hours a day before the outbreak of COVID-19, with 74 per cent of HR professionals acknowledging there is a link between physical fitness and absenteeism.
Those in the finance sector spend the most time sitting down with an average of 7.58 hours with travel & transport (7.41 hours) coming second and IT and telecoms (7.22 hours) third.
Almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of employees across professions say they are worried about the impact of this lifestyle on their health.
Nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of IT and telecoms workers are worried about the impact of a sedentary lifestyle on their health, as well as 71 per cent of manufacturing and utility employees.
Dave Capper, CEO of Westfield Health, said:
The coronavirus outbreak in the UK has also highlighted just how little attention we pay to our everyday health and hygiene, as much of the advice, such as washing hands and using alcohol hand gels or wipes, should be something we do every day.
The UK may have the expertise to deal with this pandemic, but this must be the starting gun for Britain to change its ways and address its long as well as short-term health challenges.
This needs to be the health scare catalyst that fires the UK towards being healthier, both for our personal health and our economic health as a nation.
After all, we know that absenteeism is costing many UK businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and days off for physical and mental health are on the rise.
Our own investigations found that workers are sitting up to 7 and a half hours a day, while only a fifth get the recommended amount of exercise. This sedentary lifestyle is impacting our long-term health and increasing absenteeism.
In November 2019, BakkerElkhuizen a specialist in designing offices ergonomically for computer workstations gave its top reasons why you should offer your employees the choice to stand and sit alternately whilst working.
To obtain these results Westfield Health spoke to 2,000 employees.