In­dex to rank firms on ap­proach to health

The Scotsman - - Business - By PERRY GOUR­LEY busi­ness­desk@scots­

A new in­dex is to be launched to en­able com­pa­nies to high­light their com­mit­ment to a healthy work­force.

Iain Bell, founder of an Ed­in­burgh-based ex­ec­u­tive fit­ness firm, said he was in­spired to de­velop the in­dex by the mea­sures many US cor­po­ra­tions are now tak­ing to pro­tect the health of their se­nior lead­er­ship teams and staff. Steps in­clude reg­u­lar phys­i­cal and men­tal health checks, to­gether with ini­tia­tives to en­cour­age ex­er­cise.

“Many com­pa­nies in the US bol­ster their ex­ec­u­tive recruitment with pri­vate phys­i­cal train­ing and nu­tri­tion along­side pri­vate med­i­cal pack­ages,” Bell pointed out.

“It forms a ma­jor part of its busi­ness make-up, ben­e­fits pack­age and abil­ity to at­tract elite em­ploy­ees. As a re­sult ab­sen­teeism rates are lower and per­for­mance lev­els gen­er­ally higher.”

Bell, who has run the Ex­ec­u­tive Fit­ness Foun­da­tion for 25 years, said the in­dex would en­able share­hold­ers to have a fuller pic­ture of the well­be­ing of busi­nesses they are in­vest­ing in. He said: “In­vestors quite rightly take huge in­ter­est in gen­der and di­ver­sity com­mit­ments of com­pa­nies. This sup­ports a hap­pier, bet­ter bal­anced and ul­ti­mately more driven and pro­duc­tive work­force. Nu­tri­tion and fit­ness within busi­ness are next on the share­holder radar.

“It is about get­ting every­one in­volved in im­prov­ing per­for­mance. All com­pa­nies know it’s a good thing but have not had it as a cor­po­rate mea­sure yet.

“In­te­grat­ing pos­i­tive health be­hav­iours al­ways pays div­i­dends,” he added. 0 Iain Bell: ‘Data gives fuller pic­ture for share­hold­ers’

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