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Staff losing a day of productive time per week | Ashleigh Webber

UK employees lose nearly one day per week on average to poor mental and physical wellbeing, with younger workers losing more productive time than their more senior colleagues.

Health insurer Vitality found that employees lose an estimated 43.6 days annually to health concerns including musculoskeletal conditions, depression and poor sleep quality.

This rises to 59.7 days per worker for those under 30, who despite being more physically active than their older peers, have significantly higher levels of mental health concerns, the research for Vitality’s 2023 Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey found.

People over 50 lost an average of 36.3 days a year.

Under 30s have higher levels of burnout (17.0%), depression (14.6%) and fatigue (55.6%) compared to other age groups, the report claims.

They are also 224% more likely than employees over 50 years of age to suffer from depression, although this number increases to 257% if they are dissatisfied with their jobs, regardless of their age.

Musculoskeletal conditions increased lost working time by 54%, while obesity (14%) and a lack of physical activity (28%) also had an effect.

Only an average of 6.1 days a year are taken as formal sickness absence, Vitality said.

Despite employee wellbeing rising up HR’s list of priorities since the pandemic, with the survey participants offering on average 47 different interventions to tackle wellbeing issues, only 25% of employees used the support on offer.

Lower earners were more…

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