Sunday , April 11 2021

Jobs should offer lunch hours for lunch to "handle obesity"

One in four people were classified as obese in 2016, one to six in 1993 (Picture: Getty)

Employers should introduce lunch hours for lunch to help cope with the growing obesity crisis – according to the new guidelines.

Health workers suggest that bosses should offer spinning and yoga mid-day work to help their staff stay healthy.

The guide, published by the National Institute of Health and Nutrition Excellence (Nice), also advises companies to introduce board meetings and encourage employees to use stairs, assuring them that they are clearly marked.

Other suggestions include offering subsidized members in the gym and distributing leaflets to encourage people to take stairs and take regular breaks from the session.

As well as dealing with obesity, another purpose of the manual is to reduce the number of people who need to take sick leave due to stress, depression or anxiety.

More than 131 million working days were lost from diseases in 2017, and 13 million of those days were lost due to mental ill health, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

Work at lunch can be very helpful and can do wonders for your mental and physical health – encouraging the distance from computer and phone screens.

More than 131 million working days were lost from disease in 2017 (Picture: Getty)

But the reality of this is not always simple – many of us work longer than ever before, and it may be difficult to find time to tear off your desk. Nice officials say there should be a shift in culture.

"If 5.7 million of UK and UK small and medium-sized enterprises are encouraging their workforce to be more active, they are more likely to take advantage of engaging employees who are more productive and less likely to get sick," says Professor Gillian Lang, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE.

"Simple things like providing safe storage of bicycles, showers and changing rooms can go a long way to enabling people to move to work or to meetings.

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"As a society we are facing a crisis of obesity caused partly by people who do not practice enough.

"We need people to change their lifestyle and take a bigger exercise. If they can do this during the working day, they will not only benefit, but also their employers and the NHS. It is a victory, a victory for everyone ".

One in four people were classified as obese in 2016, from one to six in 1993. And almost two thirds of people belong to the overweight or obese category, compared with just over half in 1993, according to NHS Digital.

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