One in four of UK’s workforce suffering ill health

13 November 2013        

Woman and man having an office meeting

More than a quarter of the UK’s workforce (27%) – a staggering eight million people - have a health problem that’s lasted more than a year, according to our new Health at Work Index.

With nearly one in six of these health problems (16%) relating to the heart and circulation, we're calling for employers to champion the health of their workers. The risk of developing problems such as coronary heart disease can be greatly reduced by losing weight, increasing physical activity and eating a balanced diet.

One in ten workers (12%) – approximately 3.5 million people - said their ability to do their job is limited by poor health. This includes over half of diabetes sufferers (58%) and the same proportion of people suffering from depression, mental illness or panic attacks (58%).

Poor health can lead to more sick days, lower morale and less productivity.


Lisa Purcell, Project Manager for our Health at Work programme, said: “This research reveals the true health of the UK’s workforce, and the results are shocking. But there is something that can be done.

“By shining a light on the health of workers in a range of industries, we hope to inspire employers to champion the wellbeing of their workers. This will ultimately benefit the health of their business in the long-run.

“Poor health can lead to more sick days, lower morale and less productivity. So it’s not just your workforce that will benefit from a health kick, but your company’s bottom line will get a boost too.”

Through our free Health at Work programme, we help employers to create health and wellbeing initiatives that improve the health and productivity of their workforce. The scheme includes free tools and resources to encourage workers to get activeeat well and reduce their stress. More than 7,000 organisations have already benefited from the programme. 

Sign up for free today