Could supplements be Britain’s answer to sick days?

Businesses from all sectors have to negotiate staff sickness and, within the construction industry, particularly amongst small to medium-sized firms, the effects can be damaging.

Could days away from site be significantly reduced though if employers supplied health supplements to employees?

The British workforce fear taking time off, meaning workers are reporting to work ill, according to the Office for National Statistics. In 2017, the average employee took 4.1 days off due to sickness, with members of the public sector said to lose 3.3% of their working hours because of ill health.

However, Frankie Brogan, a Senior Nutritionist for natural health supplement supplier Pharma Nord states that this could be significantly lowered if companies introduced the right nutritional approaches: “Companies are all for enhancing their colleagues’ well-being, and looking after your workforce’s health can prove beneficial for their productivity and morale.

“Supplements are a great way to boost your team’s health and nutrition, which will in turn enhance their performance. By offering supplements to your colleagues, they will also benefit from the knowledge that you care for their well-being.”

A big concern for all businesses remains stress-related illnesses. A survey carried out by well-being specialists, Forth, found that 85% of adults in the UK regularly experience stress. There are many supplements that could help relieve your stress levels. And supplements such CoQ10, for example, can contribute to normal cognitive function.

Magnesium supplements could also be considered with magnesium helping with muscle and nerve function. Studies have found that this mineral supports sleep and, as pointed out above, stress can be caused by tiredness. While many workforces offer free tea and coffee facilities, magnesium supplements could be a great opportunity to reduce fatigue in the workplace – with a staggering 76% of the UK’s workforce claiming to be tired most weekdays.

Seasonal changes should be factored in, too. Especially for those who work in a construction office-based role, winter can leave us with a significantly low level of vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight. This can mean that our immune system may falter as it’s not getting the nutritional benefits required. Vitamin D3 s one supplement that can contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system, therefore maintaining a healthy workforce. In fact, public health advice for the UK even recommended this supplement for a ‘top up’.

One in five of the UK’s population have low vitamin D levels. For many of us, our diet simply won’t provide sufficient levels of the nutrient, so the supplement can be a quick and easy way to enhance our intake.

“While supplements aren’t a ‘replacement’, they can be beneficial and provide nutritional goodness,” added Brogan. “They are a cost-effective way to support the immune system and enhance overall well-being.”

In the UK, productivity levels are still lagging behind neighbouring countries. A well-being process being put in place by construction companies could help engage workers, and increase productivity. Of course, just offering supplements isn’t enough, but it can certainly help towards creating a healthier workplace.