Lack of exercise costs UK employers £6.6bn a year

Inactive lifestyles are costing UK employers as much as £6.6bn in lost productivity each year. This was the finding of the ‘Economics of Exercise: measuring the business benefits of being physically fit’ report.

The report shows that by simply meeting the health recommendation of doing either 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, the exercise boost among employees would benefit British businesses by up to £6.6bn a year through increased productivity.

British businesses are not the only organisations to be bearing the brunt of people’s lack of exercise.

Couch potato lifestyles are costing the NHS a staggering £1 billion a year. Research carried out by Oxford University shows that a lack of physical activity was directly responsible for 3% of deaths in 2002.


Importance of exercise

Regular exercise can have immediate and long-term benefits to people’s physical and mental wellbeing.

As well as helping to reduce stress and anxiety, regular activity can improve a person’s quality of life and reduce the chances of developing a number of potentially life-threatening diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Improving work/life balance

Exercising regularly can also help individuals balance their work and family, as employees that routinely workout are at less risk of getting sick and missing days off work. During days off work, employees that exercise regularly can feel more energised to spend quality time with their family.


Effects of exercise compared to lack of exercise on the body

Research shows that just a 20-minute brisk walk a day, can lower the chances of premature death by as much as 30%. The endorphins released by the brain while exercising can make us feel happier, increase our energy levels and help with relaxation and quality of sleep.

By contrast, a lack of exercise can lead to weight gain, as fewer calories are being burned, poorer blood circulation, a weaker immune system, less muscle strength and endurance and hormonal imbalance.

An inactive lifestyle also affects mental health, potentially leading to issues such as anxiety, stress and depression.

Tips for small changes that can make a big difference

Adopting a more active lifestyle can be successfully achieved by making a few simple changes. Small changes that can make a big difference include:

  • Walk or cycle to work
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Use an exercise bike
  • Write an exercise plan
  • Get some exercise during your lunch hour
  • Eat more healthily
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get outdoors with the kids


Join your local sports club

Another effective way to ensure you become more active and reap the mental and physical benefits of regular exercise, is to join a local sports club.

You might be interested in yoga classes, going for a regular swim, playing squash or taking part in a dance class. Whatever form of exercise you are interested in, joining a local sports club can be one of the best ways to encourage a more active lifestyle.


Sports club insurance

For owners and operators of sports clubs, it’s vital to have the right insurance in place to provide cover for any accidents or incidents that may occur..

Nelson Policies at Lloyd’s provides a Sports, Social, Health & leisure product to local sports clubs. Get in touch for more information about the Nelson Sports, Social, Health & Leisure product.

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