Just 15% of workers are provided with healthy food choices in their company canteens or vending machines, a new survey has found.
According to the findings by the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF), many of Ireland's workers want to become healthier and would like to see their employers playing a role in this.
However currently, most are not supplied with healthy options in their company canteen and vending machines, while just one in three workers are achieving the recommended weekly allowance of exercise.
Four in 10 office workers admit that they are not physically active at all during their working day. And among workers who are inactive, one in five blame this on an overall lack of workplace facilities, such as shower facilities.
The survey was carried out to coincide with an announcement about Ireland's first Workplace Wellbeing Day, which is due to take place on March 27, 2015. On that day, companies will be asked to focus on the wellbeing of their employees by promoting existing and new initiatives and hosting special events for staff.
"Employee wellbeing is a high priority for companies because of its positive impact on productivity and absenteeism. With 11 million days lost through absenteeism every year at a cost of €1.5 billion, improving employee wellbeing is in everyone's best interest," commented Danny McCoy, CEO of Ibec, which is supporting the campaign.
He said that this campaign aims to highlight positive initiatives already in place in some companies and to identify where improvements can be made.
Also commenting on the campaign, Kate O'Flaherty, director of the Health and Wellbeing Programme at the Department of Health, said that given how long people spend in work, ‘it is an obvious and critically important place to promote and encourage healthier living'.
"In taking a partnership approach with different employers, employees and workplaces, we can share best practice and build a culture of workplace wellbeing, which can have real benefits for people's physical and mental health and wellbeing," she added.