Higher rates of chronic disease in an ageing workforce could pose a serious threat to the productivity of British businesses, according to the private health company Bupa.
Its report, Healthy Work warns that the number of workers with diabetes and respiratory diseases such as COP will increase by 7% to more than 4m by 2030.
The rate of mental illness in the workforce will rise by 5% to affect more than 4.2m workers.
By 2050, the average age of retirement will be 68.
The Bupa report, Healthy Work, published in partnership with the Work Foundation, The Oxford Health Alliance and RAND Europe draws on findings of more than 200 pieces of research.
Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald, managing director for Bupa UK Health Insurance, said: ‘For the first time, we have a clear picture of the major health issues that will affect British workers over the next 20 years.
‘We know they will be older and sicker, with millions working with long-term diseases such as diabetes and COPD.
Our report provides British businesses with an early warning of how the health needs of workers will change and importantly, it gives them time to take action to keep their employees healthy, productive and at work.
‘The commercial benefits of taking action on workplace health are clear as healthy employees can be nearly three times more productive than those in poor health.’