Over half of the UK workforce based in traditional offices don’t do any form of exercise during the average working week.
The survey from the Smarter Working Initiative found that while a quarter of people would like to go the gym three times a week, excessive travel times and fatigue from long working hours stand in their way of a healthy lifestyle.
Of the British employees surveyed, two thirds said if they worked flexible hours that enabled them to exercise when they wanted to during the working day, then they would exercise significantly more than they currently do.
A further 48 per cent said that working from home or having a shorter journey from work to the gym would also help them lead a healthier life.
Nearly half of respondents said they tried to start a summer diet while working in an office. Yet two thirds said they had limited success, with buying lunch out during the week and not having enough time in the evening to make a packed lunch – being the most common reasons why their diets failed.
Exacerbating the problem of under-exercising, the survey also found that three quarters of office-based workers snack more than they would like, citing their office culture as the main reason.
Unsurprisingly, the top two snacks eaten by employees were biscuits and chocolate (21%). Yet an overwhelming number wished they snacked on just fruit.
Jason Downes, founder of the Smarter Working Initiative said: “Traditional working office hours simply aren’t sustainable for a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Companies must acknowledge that implementing flexible working will enable their staff to become healthier, and ultimately more productive.
“Long travel times and work fatigue are not conducive to optimal working conditions. A healthy diet and regular exercise are essential for employees to feel motivated to produce their best work – and business leaders should ensure that they provide an environment that supports this.”