Older man at the gym

Inspiring healthy lifestyles and the business benefits that follow

25 January 2024

Healthy people = healthy business. Well… there’s more to it than that, but having physically well employees and inspiring healthy lifestyles benefits your business. Our workforce is ageing, and the average absenteeism rate is rising. Keeping your people healthy is more affordable than you might think, especially compared to the cost of inaction. Read on to discover more.

Inspiring healthy lifestyles… the ageing workforce

It’s a fact of life that none of us can avoid… ageing. As we age, we’re at a higher risk of suffering from specific age-related illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Whilst we can’t reverse the ageing process, a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well, getting enough sleep and regularly exercising, helps lower the risk of illnesses.


Why does this matter to your business?


The workforce is ageing. People are retiring later, and the government is actively campaigning to lure those who retired early back into the workplace.


These employees bring a wealth of skills, knowledge, and expertise to organisations. They’re a true asset! Still, we must acknowledge that the older we are, the more predisposed to illness we become, which could increase absenteeism rates.


Absenteeism costs the UK economy £18 million and averages £500 per employee annually (Acutec). Inspiring healthy lifestyles and making them attainable helps keep our workforce healthier for longer, regardless of age.


Healthy employees = reduces absenteeism and presenteeism + more energised and motivated.


The healthiest generation…

For our research (or maybe just curiosity), we asked Google which generation is the healthiest, and the all-knowing search engine told us that Millennials are!


Those born between 1981 and 1996 fall into the Millennial generation, putting them in the 28 to 43 age range. Not old by any means, but not the youngest generation you’ll find in your workplace, either. This highlights that being older doesn’t always mean being less healthy.


Could the Millennials in your business help with the task of inspiring healthy lifestyles in the younger generations? The earlier we can adopt healthy lifestyle choices, the more impactful the long-term positive effects on our physical health.


Learning is a two-way street, and we’re not just talking about physical choices.


A healthy lifestyle includes mental and financial wellness, too. Gen Z and the finically savvy lifestyle we’re hearing about in the ‘Loud Budgeting’ trend suggests they may have a trick or two to teach older generations about improving their financial health.


Negative factors that infringe on healthy lifestyle choices

The concept of the ageing workforce and all it involves should be a focus for employers during 2024 and beyond. Still, it’s essential to consider other factors hindering businesses from effectively inspiring healthy lifestyles.


The cost-of-living crisis has much to answer for, including your employees, mental, financial, and physical health. The rising cost of living is why 42% of Brits have cancelled their gym memberships.


Unless those 42% of people replaced the gym with a ‘free’ alternative, like running or cycling, almost half of Brits have given less priority to their physical health because of affordability issues.


Is it any wonder the average rate of absenteeism per employee per year has increased from 5.8 in 2019 to 7.8 in 2023?


Where physical and mental health meet…


Exercise, whether in the gym or at home, doesn’t just enhance physical health; it also supports our mental wellbeing, and our Acorns Children’s Hospice case study brings this concept to life. 


Those working in palliative care are at high risk of occupational burnout. Putting their employees’ wellbeing at the top of their agenda, Acorns embedded our Corporate Gym Membership – Gyms & Fitness Discounts – into their comprehensive benefits offering.


Acorns Case Study


Inspiring healthy lifestyles and making exercise affordable with our Corporate Gym Membership helps their employees reduce their risk of burnout, and they’re making their appreciation known through a fantastic uptake.


The matter of affordability…


Those 42% of Brits cut their gym membership to make life’s essentials more affordable, not because they’re choosing to be less active and healthy. That’s why organisations need to make exercise more affordable through benefits like Corporate Gym Memberships.


The affordability debate isn't just personal. It feeds into the workplace, too. Consider the average absenteeism cost per employee vs the cost of facilitating and inspiring healthy lifestyles. Which is more financially sustainable and beneficial for your business?


Inspiring healthy lifestyles … the role of corporate gym memberships

Corporate Gym Membership sounds, well, corporate and somewhat restrictive, which is why we prefer to call our offering Gym & Fitness Discounts.


Exercise is personal. To ensure our fitness benefit is inclusive, we offer discounts with over 3,000 gyms, studios, fitness centres, boot camps and sports clubs across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, as well as a vast range of digital fitness providers!


Nature lovers can enjoy discounts with boot camps and sports clubs. Less confident employees and those short on time can access our vast range of digital fitness partners, giving them discounted subscriptions to online workout programmes with some of the biggest names and brands in the business. 


Empowering you to understand the benefits of inspiring healthy lifestyles!

We’ve touched on the increase in the average absenteeism rate, but we know it's not purely due to physical health. Disengagement is a known cause of increased rates of absenteeism, but mental ill health is the biggest cause of long-term sickness absence.


When we picture healthy lifestyles, our minds tend to drift to the food we put in our bodies and the level of activity in our lives. A healthy lifestyle is beyond physical, incorporating mental and financial health.


Physical activity boosts endorphins – the happy hormone – which enhances our mental health!


When it comes to mental health, prevention is better than cure. Corporate gym memberships make exercise affordable, inspiring healthy lifestyles and enhancing mental and physical health, thus reducing absenteeism.


Bringing age back into the debate…


We’ve mentioned already that the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease increases as we age and that healthy lifestyle choices can reduce the risk. However, there’s another age-related matter to consider, especially concerning physical and mental health in the workplace.


8/10 menopausal women are in work, and we are responsible for providing the support they need. 10% of women leave work because of the menopause - before they’re financially, emotionally, or mentally ready. One of the reasons for this, beyond the lack of proper support, is the mental and physical symptoms associated with menopause.


Having EAP in place that provides dedicated menopause support is essential, but so is access to affordable exercise.


One unfortunate effect of the menopause is that you are more likely to put on weight. Luckily, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Similarly, menopause can lead to a loss of muscle mass – which can affect your metabolism and strength. Exercising during this time can counteract some of these effects. Bupa


Providing expert support, inspiring healthy lifestyles, and creating affordable exercise opportunities reduce the negative effects of menopause, lower absenteeism rates, and keep talented women in your business for longer.


Whether older generations predominantly power your workforce, you’re concerned about high levels of absenteeism, or you simply understand the importance of inspiring healthy lifestyles in your entire workforce, Pluxee UK can help!


Our Gyms & Fitness Discounts are so much more than a corporate gym membership. Arrange a call today and make exercise affordable for your people with up to 25% off annual memberships with some of the biggest names in the fitness industry.







Business Insider