herald

Monday 23 April 2018

80pc of workers are deprived of sleep, most don't exercise

Most Irish workers admit to not getting enough sleep
Most Irish workers admit to not getting enough sleep

Nearly 80pc of Irish workers say they are sleep-deprived, a study has found. The results were collated from 13,266 health screenings carried out across different industry sectors by Laya Healthcare ahead of National Workplace Wellbeing Day on Friday.

The key findings show that eight out of 10 workers admit that poor sleep has affected their energy and mood in the past month.

One in five admits that sleep deprivation is affecting them "a lot".

Rmotional

Patricia Hyland, of Laya Healthcare, said employers could bring in sleep experts to improve the well-being of their staff. A one-size-fits-all approach to well-being does not work, she said.

"Through our health screenings, we can pinpoint key drivers of emotional well-being in an organisation, and once we've identified them we can offer tailored health and well-being plans that directly address the core issues," she added.

"Employers could bring in sleep experts to improve sleep patterns, and where financial stress is impacting sleep and performance, bring in financial wellness experts to give tailored supports to employees."

The study also revealed that 24pc of Irish workers are "often barely managing financially" from one pay day to the next.

More than half admit experiencing general anxiety on some or most days.

Obesity was a significant factor in the findings, with almost one in five male workers found to be overweight compared with 16pc of women.

Men working in media areas are most likely to be overweight, followed by manufacturers and medical workers.

"The only way to alleviate concern is to take action, said Ms Hyland. "A growing number of companies in Ireland are recognising the importance of addressing the emotional well-being of their employees, but there's still a huge education job to be done among employ- ers to address it in a meaningful way.

"Not taking action simply isn't an option any more for employers."

A separate study has found that the majority of workers in Ireland do very little exercise.

Inactive

The research, commissioned by Food Drink Ireland, show that only one in four employees exercises at the recommended levels of more than 150 minutes every week.

Two out of five say they are either totally or extremely in- active on workdays.

The majority accept that they need to make personal changes.

Danny McCoy, Ibec's chief executive, is urging any employer who is not actively involved to make a start on National Workplace Well-being Day.

"Employees will be healthier and happier, and employers will benefit from a more engaged and productive workforce as well as a higher staff retention rate," he said.

Two-thirds of employees said they are more likely to stay long-term with an employer who is interested in their well-being.

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