Good Intentions: UK employees try but fail to embrace clean living

Half of UK employees are trying hard to make long-term changes to their lifestyles, but are struggling, new research by Bupa has found.

In the study of 2,000 UK employees, 52 per cent admitted that their changes generally last no longer than a few weeks, and just 7 per cent have been completely successful in changing how they live for the better.

Employers should take note as 85 per cent of employees believe they would be more productive if they were able to stick to positive lifestyle changes in the long-term.

Furthermore, two in five would love their work to help them make positive changes to their lifestyle and half say a regular wellbeing review would help with this.

The research comes as Bupa UK launches a new range of health assessments, designed specifically to help businesses engage their employees in their health and wellbeing and create a healthier, more productive workforce. Employees receive ongoing coaching during and beyond the assessment to help map out a clear route to a healthier lifestyle, as well as digital support to stay motivated to reach goals.

Employees also have access to Bupa Boost, a digital innovation that enables employees to set personal goals, track their progress against friends and colleagues and motivate and inspire them, as well as integrating data from other apps and wearables. This can also help the Bupa adviser provide advice and support during and after the assessment. This is all supported by 24/7 access to nurses and doctors for a year after the health assessment through our Anytime Healthline.

Dr Steven Luttrell, Medical Director at Bupa UK said: “Clearly we all want to be healthier, but currently don’t feel supported to reach our goals and this means we are struggling to make our health resolutions stick. Improving the wellbeing of workers in the UK needs a proactive effort, yet unfortunately many employers are failing to see the value of health and wellbeing initiatives. By supporting staff to make positive lifestyle changes, employers can also benefit from healthy and productive workforce.”

Three quarters of employees have chosen to change their lifestyle to feel more physically healthy, with nearly half changing to improve mental health. The top behaviours people are trying to change are exercising more, losing weight, and eating less sugar. But people clearly need support to help them achieve these goals as they are being held back by a lack of willpower and their busy lives.