A key differentiator for Vitality is our global insight and approach to incentivizing people to be healthier to enhance and protect their lives. In the U.K., Vitality is a sponsor of Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, an effort established in 2013 in response to the fact that many of the country’s employers were failing to adequately invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff. Health-related lost productivity costs the U.K. economy an estimated £77.5 billion (about $108 billion USD), which can be reduced significantly with an adequate focus on health and wellbeing.
As part of this program, a survey of U.K. employees is conducted annually covering a broad set of questions around lifestyle, clinical and mental health, work engagement and productivity, and an in-depth assessment of the health and wellbeing interventions being offered by employers.
The results for 2017 were recently announced and among the findings — most of Britain’s employees are 4.5 years older than their actual age, based on various health and wellness factors. Vitality Age is a validated measure of a person’s “health” age after adjusting for the impact of lifestyle behaviors and clinical indicators. Britain’s Healthiest Workplace uses it to compare – over time – different organizations and employees.
As you can see from the infographic, the statistics around the impact of lifestyle on clinical health and mental wellbeing are alarming.
And poor health not only takes its toll on the employees but costs their employers – in healthcare costs and productivity. The average employee loses almost 12% of their productive time due to ill health equating to an hour every day – resulting in a loss of about 30 business days a year.
Fortunately, it’s not all gloom and doom as these stats can be changed by making even small changes to diet and lifestyle, which is what we’re working toward every day in many countries, including the U.K. and U.S..
Since one of the first steps in solving a problem is recognizing that it exists, we encourage employers to look more closely at the impact of ill health on their bottom line. And for individuals, we challenge you to find out your Vitality Age. Access the calculator here.