Belfast Telegraph

One in four 'work without a break'

One in four people are putting their health at risk by regularly working all day without taking a break, a new report has warned.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) said long hours, working while ill or stressed and lack of exercise posed "serious risks" to health and could lead to huge costs for employers.

A survey of over 2,600 adults showed that one in four did not have a break for lunch, mainly because they had too much work to do or there were too few staff in their organisation to cover workloads.

The CSP launched a campaign to change working and exercise habits, warning people they were increasing their risk of back pain, obesity, cancer, depression and heart disease.

Over half of those questioned said they struggled into work when they felt stressed or ill.

Phil Gray, the society's chief executive, said: "Physiotherapists are concerned that overworking and not taking breaks is actually costing employers and their staff.

"Employees pay the price with their health and there is a cost to employers in reduced productivity and performance. Work is good for us and can contribute to physical and mental well-being, but not when overworking means people don't have the time or energy to look after their own health or when staff are at work but are not fit for work.

"With advice and support from physiotherapists and other occupational health experts, employers can create healthier work environments and benefit not only society but also their profit margin."

Ben Willmott, senior public policy Advisor for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, commented: "These findings should ring alarm bells for employers. A certain level of pressure at work is of course desirable.

"However when the pressure people face regularly exceeds their ability to cope, in other words stress, it is likely to lead to time off work and is linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety and heart disease."

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