Bus drivers, taxi drivers and pilots are among the professions most at risk of longer-term health issues, according to new research.
A study commissioned by Gympass and exploring the UK’s most unhealthy professions discovered that travel and transport employees spend the least amount of time exercising each week, only managing 120 of the NHS recommended 150 minutes.
Workers in the arts and culture sector were ranked as second worst, while construction workers ranked the fittest, spending more than 230 minutes exercising each week.
Whilst 85% of those working in the travel and transport sector believe employers don’t care about their health and wellbeing, the reasons given for lack of physical exercise included long working hours (49%), tiredness after work (38%) and that they don’t enjoy exercise (29%).
In other sectors, more than 80% of retail workers said they don’t believe their employers care about wellbeing and a staggering 90% of retail and education workers stated that their employers aren’t encouraging a healthy lifestyle. One-in-five health care professionals and a third of legal workers also believe it is their job that is preventing them from exercising enough.
Professions ranked from least to most amount of time spent exercising per week:
- Travel & Transport
- Arts & Culture
- Marketing, Media & Sales
- Healthcare professional
- Retail, Leisure & Hospitality
Pietro Carmignani, UK Country Manager at Gympass said: “3.2 million people die every year due to issues stemming from physical inactivity. With most of us spending more time than ever at work, employers have an opportunity and a responsibility to be a key player in their employees’ wellbeing.”
Latest figures show that physical inactivity has a significant financial burden on the NHS, with the direct financial impact costing an estimated £1.2billion each year. The World Health Organisation also ranks sedentary lifestyles among the ten leading causes of death worldwide3.
Overall, one-in-five workers admitted they would be willing to exercise more if they could fit it into their working day and that they would exercise more if they had a cheaper or subsidised gym membership.
Carmignani added: “An inactive employee can also be bad news for business – employers that promote physical activity gain on average 4.1 days per year per employee due to absenteeism reduction. We want to defeat inactivity and believe that simple steps which get people moving and help them to find activities they love can have a big impact on the health of workers and the success of a business.”