Seize the opportunity to improve the health of your workforce

Article date: 21 January 2011

  • 73% of employees vow to get fit in 2011
  • One in six wants to improve their work/life balance
  • Most New Year resolutions are broken by 1 February.

New research from Aviva shows that nearly three in four employees (73%) have started the New Year committing to get fit. But the vast majority (80%) admit that their past attempts to make positive changes to their lifestyle have failed by the end of January1.

The 2011 New Year, New You report from Aviva UK Health reveals that losing weight (72%), eating more healthily (61%), exercising more (68%), managing stress (23%) and cutting back on alcohol (18%) top the New Year’s resolutions list.

Motivation factors vary considerably:

  • One in six (17%) wants to improve their work/life balance
  • 50% have put on weight or drunk too much over the Christmas period
  • Around one in six (16%) want to get fit and healthy to avoid catching the flu
  • 21% are working towards a defined goal such as training for a marathon or slimming for their holiday
  • And, 31% say that they know they ought to make a change to their lifestyle and the New Year is simply a good time to start.

Although most employees (56%) say that their New Year’s resolve is still intact, 30% admit that they are already struggling. And, one in 10 (11%) have given up on their goals already.  

Dr Doug Wright, head of clinical services at Aviva UK Health says: “Evidence shows that a healthy, happy workforce offers many positive benefits. And, with employees clearly motivated to improve their health, now could be an opportune time for employers to take steps to introduce workplace wellness initiatives that help employees buck previous trends and meet their goals.

"Every company is different and needs to introduce initiatives that fit its own culture and requirements. Not least it should be aligned with the overall people agenda to ensure that the business understands the wider health and wellness value. While an insurance-led solution such as private medical insurance or group income protection may be right for one company, occupational health benefits may be better for another.

"There is no 'one size fits all' approach but with the help of specialists such as Aviva, employers can tailor solutions that could mean they see staff turnover, absenteeism, accidents and stress levels fall as fast as morale, loyalty and productivity rise.”

The Government’s recent Healthy Lives, Healthy People White Paper clearly highlights the crucial role employers can play to help improve health outcomes in areas from obesity to smoking, substance misuse and physical activity. The White Paper suggests employers can achieve this through establishing a strong cultural lead, strengthening management training by recognising the health needs of the workforce, and working more closely with others, particularly occupational health and primary care.

Aviva supports the Government’s wellness agenda and offers a wide range of products and services designed to help employers improve the health of their workforce. These include insurance-led solutions such as private medical insurance and group income protection as well as occupational health benefits such as employee assistance programmes and a health risk assessment tool, MyHealthCounts for Business.  

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If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Amber Chable: Aviva Press Office 
02380 359383 
amber.chable@aviva.co.uk

1 Unless otherwise stated, the nationwide survey of 1,000 British adults in employment was carried out for Aviva by market researchers OnePoll. The opinion poll was hosted online at www.OnePoll.com between the 10 and 11 January 2011 and was available to its registered members.

Notes to editors: 

Aviva is one of the world's largest insurance groups* with 53 million customers worldwide and 46,000 employees. 

Aviva’s main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion*.

In the UK, Aviva takes care of its 19.2 million customers by helping them look after their future, protecting what’s important – from their health to their homes, their cars to their business – and saving for the future.

Aviva has a 10.5%** share of the UK life and pensions market and insures one in six homes and one in 10 cars in the UK. It is also one of the oldest UK insurers, with a heritage stretching back more than 300 years.

RAC, which is owned by Aviva, provides breakdown and insurance services for individuals and businesses and has around seven million customers.

Aviva is carbon neutral worldwide, and is ranked in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In the UK, Aviva invested £3.8 million into local communities in 2009. Read our corporate responsibility report at www.aviva.com/cr.

Aviva are proud to be the number one sponsor of British athletes since 1999 and are committed to developing the sport at every level, from playground to podium. In 2011 we will host six world class athletics events on home soil – the Aviva Series, and support the Aviva GB & NI junior, senior and Paralympics teams as they prepare for all major events and championships. Through the Aviva Athletics Academy, it is anticipated that by 2012 we will have given every child in the UK the opportunity to get involved in athletics.

Aviva’s global Street to School programme is working in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to get children living on the streets back into education and everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.aviva.com/media/video.

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

** Source: ABI data released August 2010

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