Scottish workers blame employers for contributing to obesity

Employers are being blamed for contributing to obesity levels.
Employers are being blamed for contributing to obesity levels.

Two in five Scottish workers claim their employers have directly contributed to higher levels of obesity, according to new research.

Longer working hours preventing exercise was cited by 63 per cent as the main reason for this, according to the study of 1197 workers by Willis PMI Group, part of Willis Towers Watson.

Fifty-seven per cent blamed unhealthy vending machine or ‘tuck shop’ snacks, while a lack of exercise facilities and initiatives (55 per cent) and unhealthy canteen food (42 per cent) were said to be the third and fourth biggest factors behind the assertion.

Mike Blake, director at Willis PMI Group, said: “The government estimates obesity contributes to the loss of 16 million certified incapacity days each year and this research suggests employers may be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

“The findings call for businesses in Scotland to review their existing workplace cultures and practices and, where appropriate, pro-actively adopt health and wellbeing initiatives.”

Nationwide, younger workers were more critical of their employers than their older colleagues.

Forty-two per cent of 18-34 year-olds blamed their bosses for contributing to higher levels of obesity, compared with just 29 per cent of 35-64 year-olds.

The study revealed only 15 per cent of employers across the UK currently offer cut-price gym memberships, 13 per cent offer on-site gym facilities, 10 per cent offer fitness classes and just six per cent offer dedicated weight-loss schemes.

Mr Blake added: “Support and education for employees to combat obesity can be relatively inexpensive to implement but by encouraging staff to lead healthier lifestyles businesses can help cut obesity-related illnesses and the associated business risks.”

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes