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NORTHEAST FINANCE OPINION

Wednesday November 6 2019

Combatting sick days could health supplements be the answer?



Johnny H

JOHNNY H | Researcher




Combatting sick days  could health supplements be the answer?

Staff sickness can have a serious impact on all types of businesses, and on the UK economy as a whole. 

It’s been reported that UK workers fear taking time off, which means employees are reporting to work ill, according to the Office for National Statistics.

In 2017, the average employee took 4.1 days off due to sickness, with members of the public sector said to lose 3.3% of their working hours because of ill health.

However, Frankie Brogan, a Senior Nutritionist for Pharma Nord states that this could be significantly lowered if companies introduced the right nutritional approaches: “Companies are all for enhancing their colleagues’ well-being. Whether it’s providing free gym facilities or fruit bowls, looking after your workforce’s health can prove beneficial for their productivity and morale.

“Supplements are a great way to boost your team’s health and nutrition, which will in turn enhance their performance. By offering supplements to your colleagues, they will also benefit from the knowledge that you care for their well-being.”

A big concern for businesses remains stress-related illnesses. A survey carried out by well-being specialists, Forth, found that 85% of adults in the UK regularly experience stress. There are many supplements that could help relieve your stress levels – for example, Coenzyme Q10, can help contribute to normal cognitive function.

Dry eyes from staring at a computer are also often an issue for office workers.  This problem can be helped by taking regular screen breaks; but general hydration is also aided with Omega 7, which can also help with irritated eyes.

Magnesium can help with muscle and nerve function. Studies have found that this mineral supports sleep and, as pointed out above, stress can be caused by tiredness. While many workforces offer e.g. free fairtrade tea and coffee facilities, magnesium supplements could be a great opportunity to reduce fatigue in the workplace – with a staggering 76% of the UK’s workforce claiming to be tired most weekdays.

Seasonal changes should be factored in, too. Especially for those who work in an office-based role, winter can leave us with a significantly low level of vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight. This can mean that our immune system may falter as it’s not getting the nutritional benefits required.

Vitamin D3 is a supplement that can contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system, therefore maintaining a healthy workforce. In fact, public health advice for the UK even recommended this supplement for a ‘top up’.

One in five of the UK’s population have low vitamin D levels. For many of us, our diet simply won’t provide sufficient levels of the nutrient, so the supplement can be a quick and easy way to enhance our intake. 

“While supplements aren’t a ‘replacement’, they can be beneficial and provide nutritional goodness,” added Brogan. “They are a cost-effective way to support your immune system and enhance your overall well-being.”

In the UK, productivity levels are still lagging behind neighbouring countries. A well-being process being put in place by companies could help engage staff, and increase productivity. Of course, just offering supplements isn’t enough, but it can certainly help towards creating a healthier workplace.

Other ‘perks’ being used to reduce pressure levels include flexible working. This can help reduce stress levels and promote a better work-life balance. According to a YouGov survey, one in five workers are currently dissatisfied with their work-life balance and complain about always being ‘switched on’. By allowing your staff an element of flexibility you will show an understanding to their circumstances, meaning they’ll be more likely to be fully productive on the hours they are in work.

This also applies to remote working, too. Technology is allowing more roles to be completed away from the office, meaning working from a remote location is possible – and sometimes preferred. 

While supplements may go under the radar as being one of the ‘top perks’ offered, they may well be one of the most important if they contribute to a healthier workforce.

Sources:

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/999604/sick-days-sickness-absence-record-low-ONS-brits-uk-presenteeism

https://www.forthwithlife.co.uk/blog/great-britain-and-stress/         

https://takecareof.com/articles/best-vitamins-supplements-for-stress-and-anxiety

https://www.virginpulse.com/press/76-percent-of-workforce-is-tired-most-weekdays-15-percent-have-fallen-asleep-on-the-job-at-least-once-per-week-says-new-study/

https://caspianmedia.com/workplace-wellbeing-productive-team/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-36846894

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/new-reports/983-newvitamind.html



"Looking after your workforces health can prove beneficial for their productivity and morale"
Frankie Brogan








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