Mental health related sickness is a significant concern in the UK workforce, with increasing numbers of employees taking time off work due to mental health issues. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), work-related stress, anxiety, and depression accounted for 54% of all working days lost due to ill health in 2019/20. This equates to 17.9 million working days lost, and an average of 21.2 days per case. And this is only getting worse and has been significantly increased after the pandemic.
However, there is some evidence to suggest that encouraging employees to exercise and focus on wellness can help reduce the incidence of mental health related sickness in the workplace. A study by the American College of Sports Medicine found that employees who exercise regularly are less likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety, and are more likely to report feeling mentally healthy and productive at work.
In the UK, a survey by the mental health charity Mind found that nearly half (48%) of respondents felt that exercise had a positive impact on their mental health. Along with this, a study by the University of Bristol found that employees who participated in workplace wellness programs, which included exercise and mindfulness activities, reported significantly lower levels of stress and anxiety.
Encouraging employees to exercise and focus on wellness can also have financial benefits for employers. According to a report by the Centre for Mental Health, investing in workplace mental health initiatives, including wellness programs, can result in a return on investment of between £1.50 and £9 for every £1 spent.
In conclusion, mental health related sickness is a significant issue in the UK workforce, but there is evidence to suggest that encouraging employees to exercise and focus on wellness can help reduce the incidence of mental health issues. Employers who invest in workplace wellness programs can not only benefit their employees' mental health but also see a return on investment.
Our Employee Assist Programme is offering exactly that - a chance to get your employees into a regular exercising habit along with receiving talking therapy to help them create coping mechanisms when our stress levels increase.
Get in touch today to find out more and see if the BTG employee assist programme can support your staff in