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Lack of sleep does affect employee productivity at work

What is the secret to being more productive at work?  Make sure you sleep at least seven hours a night!  A study of more than 21,000 employees has found a strong connection between lack of sleep and lower productivity at work.

Vitality Health, a health and life insurance company, commissioned research organisation Rand Europe and the University of Cambridge to study factors that affect workers’ productivity. They used employee survey data gathered from companies that took part in the insurer’s “Britain’s Healthiest Company” competition.

Eleven other factors were also correlated to productivity, defined as absenteeism or “presenteeism” — when people went to work but did not perform at their best. However, the researchers noted that correlation did not necessarily mean causation.

Employees who were physically inactive, had financial worries, mental health problems or musculoskeletal problems all reported lower productivity, as did those who said they were bullied at work or were under unrealistic time pressures. Employees with unpaid caring responsibilities were also less productive.

But other factors did not seem to have any link with productivity, including smoking, alcohol consumption and severe obesity.  The report concluded mental health problems also cause “significant productivity loss”, particularly in the form of presenteeism.

This isn’t the first study to link to sleep deprivation to a lack of productivity.  A 2012 study on biological sleep clocks by researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the longer someone is awake while they are sleep deprived, the slower their work production becomes.

Healthy Performance have long advocated that the quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life including mental sharpness, productivity, creativity, physical vitality and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort! Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.   In contrast, too much sleep may actually be detrimental, according to recent studies, which shows that those who sleep more than 9 hours a day don’t live as long as those that have 8 hours a day.

Healthy Performance offer Educational Workshops which form an important part of an organisations wellbeing programme. We can help reinforce key messages related specifically to a subject matter of your choice including Sleep, Hydration, Nutrition & Diet, Weight Management, Stress Awareness and plus many other issues that you feel would be beneficial to your organisation. For more information please call us on 0844 432 5849 (HEALTHY) where we will be more than happy to help.


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