Employees feel discouraged from being healthy, study finds

Four in five employees wish Photo: Victor Freitas/Unsplash
Seven in 10 millenials wish their employer provided wellness benefits. Photo: Victor Freitas/Unsplash

Having a full-time job is one of the biggest challenges to keeping fit and healthy, research shows.

Most people feel discouraged from, or unable to purse a healthier lifestyle due to their employer, according to a poll of 5,000 employees by fitness app Zeamo.

Over half (55%) of employees can not work out during the week, with two in five (41%) using the excuse that they do not have enough time. Over a third (36%) said they are too tired after working a full day.

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The results also highlighted how the majority of respondents do not feel their employers are providing them with adequate wellness benefits.

Not only do the majority (70%) of respondents wish their employers would provide them with wellness benefits — such as on-site fitness centres and healthy snacks — but three quarters (73%) would even leave their current job for one with better perks.

Focusing on millennials — aged 23-38 — the number of workers who would leave jumped to 78%, although the sentiment is also shared by older generations, with 70% in agreement.

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Almost two fifths of workers said they would even take a small pay cut to work somewhere that cares about their wellness. This figure was slightly higher for men, at 40%, than women, at 38%.

Three fifths (60%) of employees said wellness benefits from their employer are the most important factor in the workplace.

Millennials identified wellness benefits and healthy office snacks as the biggest priorities — even over casual dress and working remotely.

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Additionally, 42% of workers believe their employer has a responsibility to keep them physically well.

Those who travel for business (55%) are most affected by lack of access to benefits. Of those whose fitness is paid for, four fifths of respondents said they work out while travelling, compared with just a third (34%) of those whose fitness is not paid for.

A third of male respondents said they don’t feel encouraged to get up and move around while at work. The number jumped even higher for women, to 43%.