Only a quarter of Irish workers get recommended exercise

We're becoming increasingly sedentary due to office commitments...

Only a quarter of Irish workers get recommended exercise

Picture by: Lauren Hurley / PA Wire/Press Association Images

A new survey from the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF) has highlight the problems Irish workers face getting the recommended amount of exercise.

A mere 26% were found to have worked out for 20 minutes a day, covering the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

This was down from the 32% recorded just 15 months ago.

Some 42% of respondents also admitted that they were either "totally or extremely inactive" during their working day.

The survey found that it would be in the interests of employers to encourage their staff to be healthier, as 69% of employees are more likely to stay longer with a company if an interest is shown in their health and general wellbeing.

Half said they would consider leaving a job if that was not the case.

Four out of five employees noted a positive link between their wellbeing and the company's productivity.

The survey of close to 1,000 employees was carried out in the lead-up to the country's second National Workplace Wellbeing Day, which takes place Friday April 8th.

Dr Muireann Cullen of the NHF said:

"Our study shows that about half of employers are trying to facilitate healthier lifestyles for their employees. More employees have access today to health and wellbeing initiatives within the workplace than they did in 2014".

Launching Workplace Wellbeing Day 2016, acting Minister for Health Leo Varadkar commented:

"A healthy workplace is a happier and more productive workplace. That’s true for both staff and employers.

"We spend so much of our lives at work that it makes sense for so many reasons to foster a healthy workplace.

"It creates a happier environment, reduces sick leave, increases productivity, and helps to beat the Monday blues. So I would encourage everyone to take part on the day.

"The Government will also shortly be launching a new obesity policy so I’m encouraged that industry is already taking a role to improve public health".