United Kingdom

Research finds link between workplace eyecare benefits and improved health and wellbeing

May 2019

At a glance

  • Eyecare benefits can improve health and wellbeing
  • Other illnesses and conditions such as cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis can also be picked up by eye health screening
  • 37 per cent of those who offered eye health screening saw a reduction in eye-related health problems

Woman on a laptop

Employers who offer eyecare benefits are likely to see improved health and wellbeing across their workforce as new research discovers a correlation between the two.

In a Specsavers Corporate Eyecare poll which reached over 500 HR decision-makers, 42 per cent said improved health and wellbeing was a ‘top advantage’ of offering eyecare benefits due to early detection and intervention of illnesses picked up through eye examinations.

Benefits of eye health test

According to Reader’s Digest, eye examinations don’t just check for eyesight and general eye health but they can detect other illnesses and conditions too, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Suzanne Summerfield, health management consultant at Aon said eye tests can help employees feel their employer has taken a ‘serious interest’ in their health and wellbeing, especially if a problem such as poor eyesight is identified, or a more serious medical condition is diagnosed as a result.

In the Specsavers poll, 37 per cent of those who offered eyecare benefits to their workforce said they saw improved productivity as there were less eye-related health problems such as headaches, migraines and eye strain. 35 per cent said they saw improved morale while over 34 per cent said eye care was a ‘highly valued benefit’.

Summerfield said: “These results highlight the value eye tests can deliver, both as preventative measures and to help diagnose issues early on. A deterioration in any of our senses can have a severe impact on our quality of life and productivity at work, so for a comparatively small outlay there could be big gains.”

Low-cost employee benefits

Hearing loss should also be on an employer’s radar, Summerfield added, as it can have a ‘detrimental effect’ on health and wellbeing. She urged employers to consider similar low-cost benefits such as counselling through Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPS).

At the same time, encouraging stair use and organising walking challenges to improve fitness, team cohesion and morale could boost energy and productivity levels. Flexible working with remote working opportunities or staggered start and finish times would also help.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare said: “There is no magic bullet but if, a simple and effective benefit such as eye care can play even a small part in improving the lives of employees and therefore, increasing productivity, it has to be a good thing.”

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For more information or to discuss any of the issues outlined in this article, please get in touch by emailing us at letstalkbenefits@aon.co.uk or calling us on 0344 573 0033.


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