Major Brian Dupree, an Army Physical Training Corp Officer complains that the Army does not take physical training seriously enough and senior officers don’t bother at all. A study by The Work Foundation, RAND Europe and Aston Business School shows that the NHS – the UK’s largest employer – loses over 10 million working days each year due to sickness absence alone.
The UK Public Sector is around 20% of the adult work force, in some areas it is above 30%. So perhaps if the Government wants to tackle individual public health issues in a meaningful way perhaps it should start with its own cohort of workers.
Fit and alert employees are more effective and efficient according to the research. So if, as many believe, the funding for Public Services will be squeezed in the next 7 years to pay for the nationalisation of a number of the UK Banks, then perhaps making the workforce fit for its role would be a good place to start to reduce the costs of the UK Public Sector.
More broadly if we focus on the Wellbeing of Public Sector workers we would go a long way to improving the health of the Nation as a whole.
The key question is how,and I believe that it inevitably comes down to culture, we in the UK need to become engaged with healthy lifestyles. Research on Health Engagement by Edelman suggests that the UK has the lowest percentage of people engaged with their health. It would seem that workers in the Public Sector are at the back of that pack.