An unhealthy workforce affects a company’s output and boosts sick leave, according to Dutch research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Obesity, poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking accounted for more than one in ten days off sick, it was found.
However drinking ten glasses of alcohol a week or more was associated with a reduction in sick leave.
Obese workers were 66 per cent more likely to be off work sick for ten to 24 days and 55 per cent more likely to be off for longer than that when compared with normal weight workers.
Many large companies in Britain encourage healthy lifestyles through cycle to work schemes, offering gym membership and on-site medical staff in order to improve the overall health of their workforce.