Nearly one in five (17%) of organisations do not offer support for staff to prevent illnesses, research from Group Risk Development (Grid) has revealed.
Released ahead of National Cancer Survivors’ Day on Sunday (4 June), the figures suggest employers could be doing more to tackle ill-health among their workforces.
The industry body for the group risk sector highlighted that many cancers are preventable and is urging companies to consider the support they currently offer, as well as think about increasing it where possible.
Among the employers surveyed, only a small proportion have measures and mechanisms in place that can directly impact employee health and help prevent illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, stroke and liver disease.
Just 16% provide fitness, gym or cycle-to-work discounts, and 15% give staff access to stress management or mental health initiatives. Additionally, only 14% have lifestyle support in place – including advice on health, fitness nutrition and sleep – while 13% offer apps that promote healthier behaviours.
According to Grid, providing the right support now can help reduce illnesses linked with ageing in the future, as well as improve the mental and physical wellbeing of employees today.
Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for Grid, said: “Many serious illnesses, including cancer, are preventable which is why it is so crucial that prevention plays a key role in employer health and wellbeing programmes.
“We can’t necessarily eliminate cancer entirely but encouraging healthy behaviours in staff is likely to help reduce their likelihood of getting the disease at some point in the future – especially if support helps turn poor lifestyle choices into heathier long-term habits.
“National Cancer Survivors’ Day is a day to celebrate the increasing number of people who are living beyond cancer, but employers can play their part in helping to reduce the numbers who are affected in the first place.”