Small firms light on obesity

More than half (54%) of managers in small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) believe that obese employees are more likely to take sick leave. A further 76% of managers have no plans to provide support or advice for staff concerned about their weight, according to a survey by Nuffield Proactive Health called Obesity issues in the workplace.

Over a third (36%) of managers do not feel that the weight of employees is of concern to their organisation.

Only 4% of the SMEs surveyed have measures in place to help staff manage their weight, while 51% do not have any measures at all.

Of the 497 managers surveyed, 63% feel that they have a duty to speak with very overweight staff if they feel that their condition affects productivity, but 87% are afraid to cause offence or contravene legislation.

SME’s approach to obesity
SME managers who are afraid to speak with employees about obesity because they may cause offence
87%
Managers in SMEs who have no plans to provide support or advice to employees concerned about their weight
76%
SME managers who think obesity is a serious issue in the workplace
64%†
SME managers who think obese staff are more likely to take sick leave
54%
SMEs that have measures in place to help staff manage weight issues
4%
Source: Nuffield Proactive Health