Ask the expert: Investing in health checks

By Business Health Matters

21 Feb 2023

The Business Health Matters programme was created to help improve the overall health and wellbeing of employees throughout the county.

Businesses tell us that the health and wellbeing conversation can be overwhelming and even conflicting at times and that knowing where to start is notoriously difficult.

So, in this regular column, we answer your workplace health questions and help you find the support you need within your own organisation.

In this edition, we look at whether businesses on tight budgets should be investing in health checks for their employees.

Q: AS BUDGETS GET TIGHTER, WHY SHOULD I OFFER MY TEAM A HEALTH CHECK?
A: In a period of uncertainty, we know many businesses in Lancashire are looking at ways to save money.

At the same time, we also know that employers are relying on their strong, healthy and resilient workforce to pull together and achieve business goals.

So, what happens when colleagues become unwell or struggle with their mental health? How can you as an employer help to prevent this happening?

In the UK, over 30 million days are lost to work-related ill health.

Of this, 17 million are lost to stress, depression or anxiety and 7.3 million days are lost due to musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain or arthritis. That means that, on average, a person with one of the above will take anywhere up to 19 days off work.

By offering your team a workplace health check, early warning signs of poor health are identified before they become a larger, costly problem.

If left too long, both mental and physical health issues can get increasingly worse and lead to growing levels of presenteeism, where employees come to work but are too unwell to do their job, or long-term absenteeism.

There is a range of options on offer to employers when it comes to health checks, including those that just focus on physical health or those conducted online.

However, our programme has been part-funded by Innovate UK to offer Lancashire businesses an affordable and comprehensive health check that covers both physical and mental health elements.

Created by Lancashire Mind and the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Medicine, the in-person checks cover: cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose, a ten-year cardiovascular score, peak flow, pulse oximetry, atrial fibrillation, pulse rate, height, weight and BMI, and a lifestyle questionnaire and mental health assessment.

At just £60 per person, the health checks give employers the opportunity to make a difference to their employees’ health.

Each member of staff receives a personalised health plan following the assessment, with an anonymised report provided to employers who book ten or more checks.

With similar services costing hundreds of pounds when purchased from large, national organisations, this opportunity for Lancashire businesses is too good to be missed.

If you’d like to discuss your team’s wellbeing with us, please call 01772 299838 or get in touch via businesshealthmatters.org.uk.

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