Contribution of food environment to obesity in England

The Challenge

Preventable diseases, and therefore the NHS budget spent on them, continues to increase in an ageing nation. Health levels are correlated with our productivity at work, thus ill-health at work is a growing and costly problem; estimated at over £100 billion in 2007 (NICE, 2009). Consequently, employers stand to gain from improving workforce health, and considering that working adults spend most of their waking life, workplaces are opportune for enabling such improvements.

Although effective programs can yield return-on-investments of up to £8:1 (Deloitte, 2017), they are rare. Productivity measurement, long-term behaviour change and organisational climates are some of the considerations rendering workplace wellbeing interventions problematic.

The Approach

Whole systems approaches for addressing complex public health problems present great promise in addressing complex public health problems, which are unique to the setting i.e. the workplace. Further, positive psychology guides methods and aims of wellbeing interventions away from the traditional deficit-focussed approaches of physical and mental wellbeing.

Consequently, the project aims to apply a whole systems approach to improving positive wellbeing in workplaces which is likely to yield a favourable return-on-investment for employers.