Missed opportunities for workplaces

By 2020, a third of the workforce will be aged 50 or over. The old ageist model of ‘falling off the career ladder’ at 45 is no longer viable because with delayed retirement ages we will only be half way through our working lives. To maintain a healthier workforce during mid-life requires us to tackle the health and wellbeing challenges of this growing segment of the population. Currently most workplace health programmes are presented as a mass offering without real consideration of the age of the targeted population. A recent review found that workplace health promotion efforts in 'older workers’ (45+...!) were few and ineffective. 

This requires us to zero-in on what matters to people who are in mid-life. What age we think middle-age ends and old-age starts has been shown to be predictive of both cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. So keeping our identity ‘young' is important in changing the behaviours that keep people healthy and productive. 

 

Significant returns from workplace health promotion?

In this presentation Dr Holly Whelan and Dr Mark Cobain outlined why returns on workplace health promotion spend will be greatest in older workers and why workplace health promotion (like all health promotion) can have significant returns in prevention by focusing on this population. They demonstrated approaches that appeal strongly to this mid-life target, creating strong engagement and meaningful and measurable changes in health promoting behaviours and disease risk factors. They also outlined how ‘life satisfaction’ is at the heart of health and wellbeing for this target population using data collected from their recently developed ‘Life-Age’ tool. Finally, they outlined an opportunity for employers to join them in transforming workplace health and wellbeing for mid-life workers to increase engagement, productivity and reduce costs.

 

Speakers' Biographies

Dr Holly Whelan & Dr Mark Cobain are founders of the Younger Lives Group (Younger Lives Limited and Younger Lives Community and Research CIC) and passionate about helping people live longer, healthier and happier lives. They both have doctorates in Neuroscience and over 20-years experience of working in ‘in-market’ health behaviour change. They uniquely combine the science of healthy ageing & behaviour change with the art of business, marketing & communications to create high impact activities that deliver excellent engagement and measurable results. Mark is the original inventor of Heart Age in 2007 and Holly has managed multi-million pound consumer and corporate brands. They are both honorary lecturers at Imperial College London and set up the Younger Lives Group in 2014.

 

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