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27% 'suffer lasting health issue'

More than a quarter of people in work suffer from a health problem that has lasted over a year, according to a new report.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) study, based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found 27% of workers have a lasting health issue.

More than one in 10 (11.7%) said their ability to do their job is limited by poor health. Some 58% of people with diabetes said this was the case, as did 58% of of people suffering from depression, mental illness or panic attacks.

The transport and storage sector, which includes jobs in warehousing and logistics, was the sector with the highest proportion of workers reporting a serious health problem.

Agriculture and mining came second, followed by a dministrative and support activities such as security jobs, w holesale and retail trade (such as in supermarkets and high street shops), and h otels and catering.

The healthiest sectors included information and c ommunications, e ducation, health and social work, and f inancial, professional and real estate.

The ONS sample included data from 185,364 people.

Lisa Purcell, project manager for the BHF's Health at Work programme, said: "This research reveals the true health of the UK's workforce, and the results are shocking. But there is something that can be done.

"By shining a light on the health of workers in a range of industries, we hope to inspire employers to champion the wellbeing of their workers. This will ultimately benefit the health of their business in the long-run.

"Poor health can lead to more sick days, lower morale and less productivity. So it's not just your workforce that will benefit from a health kick, but your company's bottom line will get a boost too."

The BHF said 16% of those with a long-standing health problem suffered from issues relating to their heart or circulation.

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