As we retire later we need to stay fitter

An entrepreneur in health and fitness has urged employers to take measures to ensure that the older members of their staff remain fit and able to work productively. These words of wisdom from Zef Eisenburger come in the wake of the news that the pension age is to be raised once again. Mr Eisenburger points out that active people function much better in the workplace and enjoy overall better health than those with an inactive lifestyle.

According to the ‘Health of the Nation’ report conducted by Deloitte, if 70% of  the population of the UK exercised for just 30 mins a day, for 5 days a week, employers would save a mammoth £500m in sick pay a year, and the NHS would also see an annual saving of over £80m. According to the report, 1/3 of people questioned blamed work and family commitments for not taking more exercise.

Surveys held by the Fitness Industry Association seem confirm that employees who are fit and healthy suffer less from anxiety and depression, have a better morale don’t succumb to so many disorders that are stress related.

Mr. Eisenberg, who sold his top-selling Maximuscle fitness food to Glaxo Smith Kline for £162m earlier this year, also says that if employers would be a lot keener to offer schemes that inspired their employees to get fir if they were made aware of how much more productive a fitter workforce is. These incentives could include the likes of subsidised gym memberships and work out opportunities through their lunch hours.

“Different exercises help with all sorts of health niggles which can strike from the 40s onward, such as troubled digestion, poor posture and sleeplessness, and physical activity can be beneficial for a range of medical conditions, from diabetes to heart conditions and lower back pain,” he said.

“It is especially important to work out regularly as you grow older.  In your later years the body starts to lose immunity and strength,” he said.

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.

“The rise in pensionable age will affect some individuals more than others,” predicts Mr Eisenberg.  “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 wellness of older staff by supporting them in their fitness drive.

“A strong body yields a strong mind. Employers need to realize the connection, and take positive action,” he concluded.