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Unhealthy workers ‘costing companies’


1 June 2011

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Businesses are being urged to encourage staff to adopt healthier lifestyles to save money.

Research from Bupa suggests people who lead unhealthy lives are costing employers, the NHS and themselves £17.7bn a year.

The study, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, calculated the immediate and long-term potential savings that could be possible if obesity rates stop rising; the 26% of smokers who attempt to quit each year are successful; and excessive drinkers bring their intake down to recommended levels.

It found businesses would enjoy immediate savings from increased productivity and a reduction in sick pay of almost £1.8bn per year lost through alcohol abuse.

The research suggests this figure would rise to almost £2.2bn by 2025, plus £61m a year lost through absences caused by smoking-related illnesses.

A further £490m a year would be saved by 2025 on obesity-related conditions, it found.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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