Professionals spend a big chunk of their time at work, which is why Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor believes employers have an important role to play in keeping staff healthy.
This is especially as the cost of lost productivity due to ill health is more than 10 times the cost of its prevention, based on a study cited by Dr Khor.
“Be it by preference or due to circumstances, employees may compromise on their health by consuming fast foods or sleeping late at night,” she said. “For those who work in the office, they could remain sedentary for long periods of time.”
By keeping their staff healthy, employers will benefit from a more productive workforce, she added, which can lead to higher staff retention rates and lower absenteeism.
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam also said that a mindset shift is necessary for employers to promote good health at the workplace, reported The Straits Times.
To make workplaces more “successful settings” for employee health and wellness, the Health Promotion Board started an initiative in October that allows workers access to free exercise sessions, health coaching and wellness programs during lunch or after work.
“Such collaborations [between the HPB and employers] go a long way in ensuring that our workers stay healthy and free from chronic diseases such as diabetes,” Khor said.