A study has revealed that many people feel that the pressures of work make them smoke and drink more, exercise less and put on weight.
The survey of around 1,400 workers revealed that up to a third believed that stress from work could lead to high blood pressure, and one in five feared that it could lead to a heart attack.
The British Heart Foundation made a point to encourage workers to spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day on improving their lifestyle.
BHF Health at Work programme’s project manager, Lisa Young, said: “This survey is a stark reminder of just what happens when we don’t take our health at work seriously enough.
“Millions of people say they are smoking more, exercising less and putting on weight because they’re not considering the impact their job is having on their health and well-being.
“Behaviours like these can be extremely damaging, not just to your heart health but also to businesses. From working with over 9,500 organisations we know that the pay-offs of making health at work a top businesses priority are too great to ignore.”
A third said that work was the reason they had put on weight, half said it negatively affected their diet, a quarter consume more alcohol and 43% said that they exercise less.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, stated that the report “is a shocking indictment of the modern world of work.”
“Long hours, the insecurity of jobs on zero-hour contracts and the stress associated with them are all taking a toll on people’s health.
“The report’s findings show just how bad some workplaces have become. However, the answer is not just for employers to encourage their staff to change their lifestyle – it is for employers to improve working conditions, provide secure jobs and treat their workers like human beings rather than machines.”