Working through lunch and staying late ‘damaging employees’ health

Poor work habits like not taking a break, staying late or eating lunch at the desk are damaging the nation’s health, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) has warned reports Health Insurance Daily

Apoll of 2,000 employees, released for the CSP’s annual Workout at Work Day, found that 21% worked through their lunch every day.

Of those who do manage to take a break, 48% said they ate at their desk.

In addition, only 19% leave their workplace to go outside for a break and only 3% go to the gym, meaning most miss out on any kind of physical activity during the day.

Some 42% said they often had to cancel evening exercise plans because of work, while 32% said they started earlier or finished later than their contracted hours every day.

The CSP said employers should find ways to support staff to be more physically active during the working day in order to reduce their risk of developing musculoskeletal problems like back and neck pain and more serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Only 30% of workers said their employer provided any kind of exercise opportunities, such as a subsidised gym membership, a lunchtime running club, or an after work fitness class.

Prof Karen Middleton, chief executive of the CSP, said: “Full-time workers spend a significant bulk of their week at work, or travelling to and from it. Finding ways to build in time to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, five times a week, can be a challenge.”

by Emily Perryman