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The Business Case for Health in the Workplace 

The case for workplace-based health promotion programmes is now widely recognised. No wonder the London Underground, Department of Health, Rolls-Royce, Ministry of Defence and Royal Mail are all partners in the Week this year.

According to the government report Health, Work and Well-being - Caring for our Future:

  • Health promotion initiatives have led to a 12-36% reduction in sickness absence, resulting in major savings in absenteeism costs.
  • It has been calculated that every pound spent on promoting health in the workplace can lead to a £2.50 saving.
  • A significant proportion of men's health problems are work-related.
  • HSE provisional data for 2005/6 shows that men are 13 times more likely than women to suffer a work-related fatality.
  • Men are almost 2.5 times as likely to be affected by a non-fatal major injury or an 'over three day' injury.
  • It is estimated that men, on average, lose three more days from work than women as a result of an illness caused or made worse by work.

The Health and Safety Executive agree. In their article Why tackle work-related stress, they calculate that 13.8 million working days were lost to work-related stress, depression and anxiety in 2006/07. 

Any practical suggestions?

  • The Work Fit project, run by the MHF with BT, showed that a 'male-friendly' approach to health improvement can appeal to large numbers of men (with real results - some 5,000 people lost on average 2.3kg each).
  • The MHF contributed male-targeted health information booklets to a Parcelforce Worldwide initiative that won the UnumProvident Healthy Workplaces Award 2006. This resulted in major improvements including a one-third reduction in sickness absence.
  • See Resources for more. 

Page created on April 22nd, 2008

Page updated on May 12th, 2010