A new index is to be launched to enable companies to highlight their commitment to a healthy workforce.
Iain Bell, founder of an Edinburgh-based executive fitness firm, said he was inspired to develop the index by the measures many US corporations are now taking to protect the health of their senior leadership teams and staff. Steps include regular physical and mental health checks, together with initiatives to encourage exercise.
“Many companies in the US bolster their executive recruitment with private physical training and nutrition alongside private medical packages,” Bell pointed out.
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“It forms a major part of its business make-up, benefits package and ability to attract elite employees. As a result absenteeism rates are lower and performance levels generally higher.”
Bell, who has run the Executive Fitness Foundation for 25 years, said the index would enable shareholders to have a fuller picture of the well-being of businesses they are investing in.
He said: “Investors quite rightly take huge interest in gender and diversity commitments of companies. This supports a happier, better balanced and ultimately more driven and productive workforce. Nutrition and fitness within business are next on the shareholder radar.
“It is about getting everyone involved in improving performance. All companies know it’s a good thing but have not had it as a corporate measure yet. Integrating positive health behaviours always pays dividends.”