Rising workplace absenteeism caused by inactivity – and its miracle cure

Inactivity is a leading cause of absenteeism that most HR departments aren’t aware of. It’s time for employees to get active and choose cycling to work with Green Commute Initiative, making a huge difference to their health

Four in 10 adults don’t meet the minimum recommended levels for movement. Inactivity increases the likelihood of getting serious long-term and life-limiting diseases with devastating consequences. Sedentary living kills thousands of people every single year – more so than obesity – and can cause diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), osteoporosis and dementia. 

The effect of chronic disease is not only terrifying on an individual level, but also for those who will end up supporting us; loved ones, friends, community services, the NHS, and employers.

It’s estimated that many employees only use around 25 per cent more energy than if they’d stayed in bed all day. The numerous Covid-19 lockdowns and subsequent working from home for millions of employees has made the levels of inactivity much worse, and the potential for serious health problems has risen dramatically.

Levels of workplace absenteeism are likely to rise significantly, along with the associated costs. Sick leave and time off for doctor and hospital appointments will take its toll on the workplace and fellow colleagues who need to cover for absent colleagues. Productivity and morale will suffer.

Yet the cure is simple: being active. It’s the key to remaining healthy. It’s the vaccine, the magic pill, and it’s ready now. Being active can save lives. Just 30 minutes of reasonable activity every day would help combat health issues resulting from inactivity. Cycling to work is one way to incorporate exercise into routine, everyday life. 

Employers can encourage their employees by giving access to the Cycle to Work scheme. Green Commute Initiative (GCI) is the UK’s industry-leading provider with no £1,000 limit and no unnecessary ownership fees. The scheme offers savings of at least 33.25 per cent on any new bike, including E-bikes. Employers save too on reduced NICs. GCI is a UK-based, not-for-profit social enterprise, committed to delivering the best value scheme to both employees and employers.