Getting employees more physically active could save UK businesses up to £6.6bn through improved employee productivity each year.
The figure comes from The Economics of Exercise: Measuring the business benefits of being physically fit report, conducted by research group PJM Economics on behalf of medical insurer AXA PPP healthcare.
It states that the UK would receive the £6.6bn productivity boost simply by all employees meeting the recommended CMO guidelines for physical activity – 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.
The report draws upon a range of sources – including academic literature, official statistics, studies by government departments and evidence reported by private organisations – and uses economic value transfers to quantify the value of exercise to organisations.
"For many of us, finding the time to be more active around work and life is challenging," said Eugene Farrell, mental health lead at AXA PPP healthcare.
"Our latest FIT-SE Index (an annual chart commissioned by AXA PPP healthcare) confirms this with one in three Brits saying they're too tired after work to exercise and a further one in five saying their job prevents them from regularly exercising.
"While this might not be surprising, it does reinforce that employers are in a unique position to positively influence change that supports and enables employees to be more active before, during and after the working day."
Dr Paul Metcalfe, founder of PJM Economics and author of the report added: "While additional research is needed to fully capture and understand the benefits exercise can deliver to UK businesses, all evidence points to there being an important role for employers to promote the wellbeing of the large working population, with benefits to be reaped at a business output level."
Resource: Health Club Management