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Flexible working key to improved health

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Healthy lifestyles can be prompted by flexible working, new research has shown.

Dr Joseph Grzywacz, of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, has commented that if workers perceive the flexible working initiative as real then they will be prompted into taking up a healthier lifestyle.

“Although further research is needed, these results suggest that flexibility programmes, that are situated within a broader organisational commitment to employee health, may be useful for promoting positive lifestyle habits,” he said.

The study tested the sleep patterns of individuals, as well as physical activity, engagement in stress management programmes, participation in health education activities and self-appraised overall lifestyle.

ClickAJob chief executive Yngve Traberg supports flexible working: “A working mother, for instance, is more at ease with a schedule that gives her quality time with her child. By allowing flexible working time, her considerable skills and familiarity with company procedures keep working positively. Mum’s happy, child’s happy, employer’s happy – and happy means healthy and profitable.”

The report is due to be published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Annie Hayes

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