By Daniel Hunter

Middle-aged employees take more sick leave than any other age group, with a third constantly feels stressed, according to AXA PPP Healthcare.

Research showed that workers aged 30-49 are facing a major health and wellbeing squeeze, which is directly affecting their workplace productivity.

AXA PPP healthcare said the middle band of workers take more sick days than any other age group; averaging 2.3 sick days in the past six months. A quarter of these workers have taken 3 or 4 days off sick. Twelve per cent of this middle age group have taken the equivalent of a working week off sick (5 or 6 days) in the past six months, double the number of 18-29 year olds (6%) and just 5% of those 50-69.

The research also found that middle aged workers are not taking positive steps to help ensure good health - one in five 30-49 year olds regularly skip meals altogether five or more days per week compared with 15% of 18-29 year olds and just 8% of those aged 50-69.

The middle aged employees also demonstrate a fairly negative outlook with regards to their jobs. Fifteen per cent of 30-49 year olds feel they don’t have a career path, and 29% of 30-49 year olds say they feel as if their career path has reached a plateau.

Dr Steve Iley, AXA PPP healthcare’s medical director for health services, said: “Employers need to recognise that these middle aged workers are a particularly squeezed group, struggling with work and home pressures. The research suggests that many are not motivated or feeling valued in their work, an issue we would encourage employers to proactively address as the 30-49 age group are likely to have at least 20 years left in the workplace. Employers need to support their workers’ mental and physical health, offering positive steps to ensure wellbeing now will help to ensure resilience in future.”

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