Stay fit in body and mind
AS THE Government presses ahead with plans to increase the state pension age in response to an ageing population, one fitness entrepreneur is encouraging employers to take measures to ensure their older staff remain fit to work and stay productive.
The age at which women can claim their state pension will have risen to 65 by 2018 - bringing them in line with men - and both sexes will receive their state pension at the age of 66 from 2020.
Zef Eisenberg - who sold his Maximuscle fitness food company to Glaxo Smith Kline earlier this year for £162m - pointed out that active people function better and enjoy better levels of health and immunity than those who are inactive and do not look after themselves.
Mr Eisenberg said: "The rise in pensionable age will affect some individuals more than others. At 66, some people are still physically and psychologically youthful, others are quite unwell and unfit. Employers can take measures now to safeguard the productivity and health of older staff by supporting them in their fitness drive. A strong body yields a strong mind. Employers need to recognise the connection, and take positive action."
According to Deloitte's Health of the Nation report, if 70% of the UK population exercised for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, the annual saving to employers would be almost £500m in recouped sick days, and there would be a saving of more than £80m for the NHS.
The report also states that around a third of people name family and work commitments as reasons for not exercising more.
Fitness Industry Association surveys confirm that employees who are fit have better morale and less anxiety, less depression and stress-related disorders.
Mr Eisenberg says that if employers were made aware of the benefits of a fitter workforce, they would be keener to offer incentive schemes to employees to get fit, such as subsidised gym membership and lunch-hour work-out opportunities.
He added: "Different exercises help with all sorts of health niggles which can strike from 40 onwards, such as troubled digestion, poor posture and sleeplessness. Physical activity can be beneficial for a range of medical conditions, from diabetes to heart conditions and lower back pain.
"It is especially important to work out as you grow older. Otherwise the body can start to lose immunity and strength."
The Fitness Industry Association's Active at Work survey 2011 demonstrates that 50% of those who start on a fitness regime feel more productive at work, and a huge 90% notice other health and performance enhancements in their lifestyle, such as drinking and smoking less and eating more healthily.
This article appeared in Central Fife Times 13 Jul 11
Central Fife Times Poll
Has the recent horsemeat scandal put you off buying budget ready meals?
This Poll is now closed.