Health insurer and consultancy tie to launch search for Britain’s Healthiest Company 2014

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Health map of the UK

Health map of the UK 

PruHealth with Vitality, the health insurer and wellness programme provider and Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, have launched the search for Britain’s Healthiest Company 2014.

It aims to find and celebrate the country’s most outstanding organisations demonstrating best practice and innovative approaches to looking after the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Last year Adidas (UK), DB Apparel and Sweaty Betty all scooped awards. Adidas, the sportswear designer, manufacturer and retail group won the overall title of Britain’s Healthiest Company. In addition it was named Most Healthy Workplace in the mid-sized company category and was highly commended in the Most Active award.

DB Apparel, the global manufacturer, supplier and retailer of women’s lingerie (including Playtex, Wonderbra and Shock Absorber sports bras) took the title of Most Smoke-Free mid-sized company in the UK.

Sweaty Betty, the women’s fitness clothing company was announced as the Most Active mid-sized company in the UK and was also placed third overall in the Britain’s Healthiest Company Index in the mid-sized category. It was highly commended in the Healthiest Diet category.

Britain’s Healthiest Company will survey employers and employees at organisations with over 50 employees to gain a deeper insight into some of the biggest health risks and trends at the heart of the corporate nation’s health.  It will also highlight those that are delivering real and measurable benefits, not only in the health and wellbeing of their people, but also in the health of their balance sheets.

By taking part, each company will receive a Corporate Health Report detailing the main health and lifestyle risks facing their organisation, tailor made recommendations on how to improve, and how they are benchmarked against other companies.

Participating employees will also receive a Personal Health Report providing a unique insight into their health and recommendations on lifestyle changes they can make.  The research, analysis and production of the Health Reports will be undertaken by the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, which collaborate on health research through the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research.  For further information and to register visit: www.britainshealthiestcompany.co.uk

DB Apparel has a wellness programme aimed at improving the general health of its staff, which has had a big impact on rates of smoking at the business. Around 7% smoke compared to a UK average of just over 20%. The company has offered smoking cessation courses, an on-site advice centre about smoking and quitting and an employee assistance programme.

Adidas (UK) offers staff a wealth of on-site facilities and services, all of which are accessible from the moment an employee joins. The Wellness Centre on the building’s top floor has two gyms, and sports masseurs, nutritionists and personal trainers on hand. Its average sick day per year per employee is 2.5, which compares with an industry average of about six. It also has low rates of presenteeism, where people come in and cannot work because they are feeling unwell, and low-rates of long-term sickness.

Sweaty Betty’s London offices have an on-site gym, cycle storage facilities, table-tennis table, Wii Fit and exercise studio for yoga and pilates classes. The company also offer a weekly running club, and enforce a ‘no lift policy’ where staff are encouraged to only use the lift for carrying heavy items otherwise they pay a ‘forfeit’ of running up the stairs to the third floor and back down again.

To launch Britain’s Healthiest Company 2014, a new UK health map reveals that London has the healthiest workers while Wales fares the worst, based on a combination of lifestyle choices and clinical outcomes of 10,000 employees across the country. It shows stark variations in the health and lifestyles of the British working population and exposes the healthiest and unhealthiest regions in the UK, highlighting where we live and work really does have an impact on our health.

The study analysed lifestyle, behavioural and clinical risk factors including weight, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol intake, stress, cholesterol and blood glucose levels, blood pressure as well as how often people attend health screenings to monitor and understand their health.

Top healthiest regions in the UK

1.     London

2.     Northern Ireland

3.     {North East

{South East

4.     South West

5.     {North West

{East Anglia

Overall 86% of British workers have an average Vitality (health) Age of 4.1 years older than their real age due to unhealthy lifestyles.  n comparison, workers in London have a health age of 3.2 years older than their actual age, while those in Wales are 5.5 years older due to their lifestyle choices. (Find out your Vitality Age at www.vitalityagecalculator.com)

Londoners are the slimmest (65% in the healthy range) and do the most exercise (45%), while the North East came up top eating most healthily (74%), smoking the least (26%) and are most conscious about their health, attending on average 1.44 health screenings every year. At the other end of the scale, nearly three quarters (74%) of workers in Wales are not exercising enough and over half (55%) smoke. The West Midlands also fell short with only 42% in the healthy weight range and just 57% eating a healthy, balanced diet.

BEST                           WORST

Overall Health                          London                         Wales

Obesity rates                            London                         Wales

Eating habits                            North East                    West Midlands

Exercise                                   London                         Wales

Smoking habits                        North East                    Wales

No of risk factors/bad habits    Northern Ireland Wales

No of health screens                North East                    Wales