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19-02-2019

Is it your job to tackle obesity in your workforce?

Is it your job to tackle obesity in your workforce?

With obesity becoming more and more of a problem in the UK, attention has turned to who, exactly, is responsible for changing the trends. If you are a manager, you may feel as though you should be making an effort to ensure that your team are fit and healthy. There are many downsides to being obese, including serious health issues, and this of courses means that obesity is always something that needs to be avoided.


Although there hasn’t yet been a successful legal case which has blamed a workplace for causing obesity, the fact remains that workplaces can lose money from issues related to obesity, such as time off work for health problems. Although you don’t have a legal obligation to reduce obesity in your workforce, there are benefits of doing so, and there are certain things that you can do to help with this.


Make healthy food available


In the workplace, particularly in an office environment, there is always a lot of food around. You should think about the food that is available, and ensure there is always a healthy option. For example, if you provide cakes as a Friday treat, make sure that you offer fruit, too. If you have a dedicated staff canteen, there should always be healthy choices here.


Don’t make all of your social events about food


When you plan nights out with the team, it’s almost certain that it will involve a restaurant and a lot of drinking. Instead of this, you could plan an event that includes low impact exercise, which can be just as fun, but without it being unhealthy.


Enable your team to move around


It is up to your team what they do on their breaks – however you should give them the time to move around if they want to. You could plan activities during lunch breaks to help, but giving employees plenty of time to move around during the working day is a great place to start.


Although it is of course important to encourage a healthy lifestyle in your workplace, it is key that your overweight employees don’t feel targeted. Make sure that anything you plan targets all employees, and this will go some way towards making sure that everyone gets the chance to be healthier.


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