Workers’ exercise hour suggested by health England chief to boost workforce health and fitness

A new plan to improve the nation’s health would include a daily workplace ‘exercise hour’.

Professor Julian le Grand, a former advisor to Tony Blair and chair of Health England, said companies with more than 500 staff should be required to set aside a one-hour exercise period every day in order to boost the fitness of its workforce.

He added that free fruit should also be provided in offices.

Le Grand was speaking to the Royal Statistical Society. He said the idea was to make healthy choices the norm whereby people could then “opt out” by choosing not to participate, in contrast to government proposals for people to opt-in to healthy lifestyles.

Le Grand also put forward the idea of creating a smoking permit, which smokers would have to buy and produce when buying cigarettes, as a possible deterrent.

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