23/01/2014 08:29 GMT | Updated 25/03/2014 05:59 GMT

Getting the Corporate Nation Healthy

It is indisputable that chronic diseases are increasing, with conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease accounting for over 63% of deaths in the world today. These can be avoided or better managed through healthier lifestyle choices, presenting a clear need for focus on prevention as well as treatment.

Against that backdrop, it is inevitable that UK organisations will feel the impact and will almost certainly see rising absenteeism and lower productivity levels, with staff increasingly on sick leave or not performing optimally when at work. Therefore, it is in their own interests to play a vital role in encouraging workers to follow a healthy lifestyle, especially as they spend most of their waking hours at work.

Encouragingly, companies are increasingly recognising the link between a healthy workforce and a healthy bottom line. However, before investing in any initiatives and addressing the issue of employee health, the best place to start is in understanding the current state of health of your workforce as you can't manage something you can't measure.

By not knowing your starting point and the key areas that need addressing, budgets won't be spent in the most effective ways, resulting in wellness interventions only touching the tip of the iceberg. Two of the biggest areas responsible for chronic disease - smoking and nutrition - aren't often targeted at all, and when wellness programmes are offered they rarely provide motivation for staff to change health behaviour.

One way to achieve this understanding is to get a free Corporate Health Report produced by the University of Cambridge/RAND Europe, by entering Britain's Healthiest Company 2014. It will highlight the main health and lifestyle risks facing your organisation, tailor made recommendations on how to improve, and benchmarking data against other companies. Participating employees will also receive a tailored Personal Health Report, providing a unique insight into their health and personalised goals and lifestyle changes they can make.

Britain's Healthiest Company celebrates those companies with 50 or more employees that are doing the best work in grappling with a truly global issue. It also aims to gain a deeper insight into some of the biggest health risks and trends at the heart of the corporate nation's health and to provide recommendations to facilitate significant and sustained improvement in employee health and productivity.

A new health map based on a combination of lifestyle choices and clinical outcomes of nearly 10,000 employees across the country has been produced as part of Britain's Healthiest Company 2013 research.

It paints a fascinating picture of the health of the nation and shows how people's lifestyles are impacting their overall health and ultimately reducing their life expectancy. There is a clear picture of how each region is performing and exposes where the hotspots are. According to the map, London has the healthiest workers while Wales fares the worst, and it shows stark variations in the heath and lifestyles of Brits.

For more information and to enter, visit:

PruHealth with Vitality helps keep the corporate nation healthy, looking after the needs of 600,000 people and over 25,000 companies in the UK, from SMEs to large, multinational corporations.