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Poor lifestyle choices made during the past 18 months of restrictions mean employers now need to take action to reduce the risk of workers developing preventable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, argues Dr Sandeep Singh Sadhra.
Many people used the novelty of working from home during the first lockdown last year to spend more time outdoors and focus on their mental and physical health. However, by the time of the last autumn’s lockdown and then the long lockdown of this year, it was clear Covid-19 restrictions were having a particularly negative impact on the health of the nation, at least for many. Gym closures and a hold on organised sport meant one in three people became less active and gained weight.
Unlike an obvious physical health problem like an injury, NCDs may have subtle or even no symptoms in their early stages, with blood testing often required to detect any signs of abnormality. The only way to detect diabetes and high cholesterol, for example, is to take a blood sample such as a simple finger-prick blood test.
Although GPs offer blood tests, most people will not ask for them until they become noticeably sick. In the past, this prompted many employers to offer free health assessments as part of their employee wellbeing packages or wellbeing days. However, w