New Delhi, Feb 19 (PTI) Lack of employees’ physical activity and stress are top lifestyle risk factors identified by employers in India, according to a study.

Besides, other major concerns are obesity, followed by poor financial well-being and tobacco use, said the India Health and Wellbeing Study by Willis Towers Watson.

According to the study, combating employee stress appears to be a key focus area for employers in India.

“A vast majority, 80 per cent of the organisations, have taken at least one action to manage employee stress and mental health in 2018 and 89 per cent selected ‘identify and manage stress and behavioural health issues across the workforce’ as a top priority,” the report by the global advisory, broking and solutions company said Tuesday.

The lack of employees physical activity (62 per cent) and stress (55 per cent) are the top lifestyle risk factors identified by employers in India, the study said.

The other top concerns were obesity (43 per cent), followed by poor financial wellbeing (27 per cent) and tobacco use (25 per cent), it added.

According to the study, 66 per cent employers have already developed or are developing a stress or mental health strategy for their employees and an additional 17 per cent are considering it for 2021.

The key steps already taken by organisations to manage employee stress and mental health include providing flexible working options (68 per cent), followed by offering on-site stress management interventions (46 per cent), promoting the employee assistance programmes (40 per cent), offering stress management and resilience training (38 per cent) and employee education and training (38 per cent).

“It is immensely encouraging to observe this increased focus on employee health and wellness. However, to translate this into all-round wellbeing, enhanced productivity and ultimately improved financial performance, companies must develop a coherent and holistic health and wellness strategy encompassing all four aspects- physical, emotional, financial, and family,” said Rohit Jain, head of India, Willis Towers Watson.

“The number of employers recognising the role of family in the overall well-being of an employee and in turn their productivity, is noteworthy. It is heartening to see that almost one in four organisations are beginning to engage the employees family in one way or another,” Jain added.

The study also said although tobacco use was identified as one of the top-five lifestyle concerns by 25 per cent of the companies, only 8 per cent currently offer tobacco cessation programmes and additional 15 per cent are considering that following suite in 2021.

It further said that 44 per cent of the organisations have taken at least one action on tobacco use in 2018.

The study was conducted during June-August 2018 and polled over 100 organisations and senior HR leaders from multiple sectors.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.