Promoting National Workplace Wellbeing Day on Friday, 31st March. (Pic: Naoise Culhane Photography Ltd)

Only one in four workers (25%) is taking the recommended level of exercise (over 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise weekly) each week, according to new research.

Almost three out of four (73%) employees say that they need to improve their diet, while four in ten believe they need to take more care of their mental health.

The research highlights the important role for employers in improving their employees’ health. Seven out of ten employees believe that their employers should encourage them to be healthier.

The good news for employers is that those who offer health and wellbeing initiatives for their employees are likely to fare better when it comes to staff recruitment and retention as well as productivity levels.

Three out of five employees (62%) are likely to stay longer with an employer who is interested in their wellbeing while almost half (49%) say that would consider leaving an employer who doesn’t support their wellbeing.

Wellbeing initiatives are also important when it comes to choosing an employer with almost four in ten (38%) employees saying it is a key benefit. In contrast, the company car has fallen right out of favour. Just 15% of the employees who participated in the survey say it is important, compared to 27% only 12 months ago.

A person will spend approximately 80,000 hours working throughout their lives and the World Health Organisation believes that the workplace is the ideal setting to promote health to a large proportion of the population.

This is borne out in the survey which shows that most employees believe that a healthier diet and more exercise in the workplace are likely to provide greater energy and wellbeing.

The findings are from a survey of over 1,000 employees across the public and private sector that was commissioned to mark Ireland’s third National Workplace Wellbeing Day on Friday, 31st March.

Hundreds of employers of all sizes are participating in the campaign which is organised by Food Drink Ireland and supported by Ibec, to help improve employee health by promoting better nutrition and exercise in the workplace.

Further details of how employers can get involved in this year’s event are available at