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NICE guidelines – Promoting physical activity in the workplace

I described the work of UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in an earlier blog.  At the end of May they issued a helpful guideline on "Promoting physical activity in the workplace".  NICE point out that "Increasing physical activity levels will help prevent and manage over 20 conditions and diseases including cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help to promote mental wellbeing."  They estimate that 65% of men and 76% of women in England do not get adequate amounts of exercise and that this inactivity costs England £8.2 billion yearly through both the direct costs of treating illnesses due to lack of physical exercise and the indirect costs of time lost from work.

They state that their guidance is "for employers and professionals in small, medium and large organisations who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for, improving health in the workplace. This includes those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public, voluntary, community and private sectors, especially those working in human resources or occupational health. It will also be of interest to employees, trades union representatives and members of the public.  Many employers recognise that they have an obligation to the health and wellbeing of their workforce. Investing in the health of employees can also bring business benefits such as reduced sickness absence, increased loyalty and better staff retention."

Their four page press release makes these points and provides links both to the full guidance and also to "a tool enabling organisations to create a business case for promoting workplace physical activity".

NICE guideline on Promoting Physical Activity in the Workplace at http://www.nice.org.uk/PH013   Accessed June 17 2008.
Associated NICE press release at http://www.nice.org.uk/media/2A2/89/2008034WorkplacePhysicalActivity.pdf  Accessed June 17 2008.

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