Your workplace affects your health more than you might think, says study

Nearly half of employees feel their jobs affect how well their eat and exercise (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Work bleeds into more areas of our lives than perhaps it should, according to a new report.

Nearly half (45%) of UK employees believe their workplace directly affects their lifestyle decisions, especially around health.

YouGov and YuLife found that eating habits, sleep and exercise are influenced by a person’s working life.

Despite the link, only 19% of those surveyed believe their employers care about their lifestyles, seeing them as unrelated.

As a result, two-thirds of those surveyed wish employers would create time towards improving the health and wellbeing of employees on a weekly basis, with 15% wishing this would happen daily.

Due to the impact work has on personal life, employees think this could be utilised positively, with 70% saying they’d exercise more if work incentivised it, through offerings such as vouchers and exercise schemes.

A large reason for the negative impact work can have on health and wellbeing choices is down to working outside of regular hours, leaving less time for personal lifestyle activities.

But it goes beyond the attitude of bosses – the overall work culture and fellow colleagues influence our lifestyles too.

Close to a third of participants said they would be more likely to make healthier lifestyle decisions if they saw their colleagues making similar changes.

Meanwhile over a quarter have struggled to take their allocated annual leave since March 2020, likely due to the pandemic, and wish they had more time off.

‘These findings demonstrate how central workplaces are to the way we lead our lives and how they influence our core lifestyle decisions,’ said Sammy Rubin, CEO and Founder, YuLife.

‘How and where we work affects how we eat, sleep, and exercise, and so workplaces can and must play a leading role in helping their employees adopt healthier habits.

‘Employees increasingly recognise that their workplaces can help them achieve positive behavioural change, and a business that addresses this need effectively is ideally placed to stave off burnout in the era of the Great Resignation.’

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