By George_Carey

Chronic conditions cost the UK economy over £20bn a year




Long-term illnesses like diabetes, obesity and cancer are costing the British economy billions of pounds a year in lost work, a study has revealed


Chronic conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and obesity, cost the UK economy over £20bn a year as a result of lost productivity, a study of UK residents has revealed.

The study was based on 8,866 UK residents, of which 3,908 were in full-time employment (constituting roughly 45% of the adult population in Britain).

Dan Witters, a principal at Gallup, commented on the results: “We’ve been able to look at some extremely fine cuts of data, which have revealed a critical issue within the working population – the struggle with obesity and chronic disease and its effects on the nation’s economy.”

The study also demonstrated that workers with normal weight and no “disease burden” reported fewer than four unhealthy days per year and less than one and a half missed days of work per year.

However, obese or overweight workers with a burden of three or more diseases reported 60 unhealthy days per year and over 18 missed work days per year due to poor health.

“The implication of the chronic disease burden of the UK’s workforce is at alarming levels,” stated Ben Leedle, president and CEO of Healthways, “The Gallup-Healthways data is shining new light on the powerful correlation between well-being and productivity.  Employers who recognize the importance of improving well-being at the workplace are most likely to gain a competitive advantage.”


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