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NICE: Workers need to exercise more

Published: Friday, 30 May 2008   Category: Life after graduation

New guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has instructed employers to encourage greater physical activity within their workforce.

Nice has claimed the health of workers suffers as a result of inactivity, leading to sickness, absence and decreased productivity.

Employers are advised to develop organisation-wide policies on exercise, encourage employees to walk or cycle to work and help employees to be active during the day.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, clinical and public health director at Nice and executive lead for the guidance said that a healthy workforce can result in financial benefits for employers, including increased productivity, reduced absenteeism and greater staff retention.

It is claimed that physical inactivity indirectly costs around £8.2 billion per year, including the cost of treating diseases linked to a lack of exercise.

Obesity alone is estimated to cost the UK economy a further £2.5 billion each year.

Nice is "the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health".

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