Commissioned by Linwoods Superfoods, the research was conducted with over 2,000 UK adults in employment to find how the wintry months are affecting day to day lives. The results revealed that:

  • One fifth (20%) of British workers don’t get out during daylight hours from Monday to Friday
  • Reduced productivity over the winter season costs the British economy over £20 billion from December to February, at a rate of £690 per employee**
  • The average weight increase was at least 4.3lbs for Brits over months December to February
  • Half of the working population (50%) get less than five hours of sunshine per week over the winter season
  • 70% of employed Brits travel either to or from work in the dark

Productivity in the Workplace

With most workers struggling to get outside in the colder months, results revealed the lack of vitamin D from daylight deprivation was at the heart of workers winter woes and not getting enough exposure to natural light has in turn impacted productivity in the workplace. Over a quarter (28%) of working Brits confirmed they struggled to concentrate at work in the winter due to often starting and finishing work in the dark, and not taking a lunch break because it was too cold to go outside. This reduced productivity over the winter season could potentially cost the British economy over £20 billion from December to February, at a rate of £690 per employee**

Almost a third of workers (30%) said they feel more sluggish in the morning and nearly half (45%)

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Psychotherapist and health writer, Christine Webber, says: “There is absolutely no doubt that most adults feel less well, less motivated and less happy during the cold and dark winter months than they do at other times of the year.

“As the Linwoods’ D Light report shows, many employed adults are barely seeing daylight during their working-week in the winter and this means they are likely to be deficient in Vitamin D.  There is growing evidence that a lack of Vitamin D may be responsible for all sorts of serious illnesses. So there are plenty of reasons why we should all take responsibility for boosting our levels of Vitamin D in any way that we can.”

Winter Woes
Up to 85% of workers believe that they suffer with symptoms of the winter blues with 60% admitting that they want to hibernate for the whole season and wake up when it’s warm. With tolerance levels plummeting along with the temperatures, the top 10 winter pet peeves include:

1. Getting ill (48%)
2. De-icing the car (43%)
3. Soaring heating bills (40%)
4. Cold feet (39%)
5. Commuting in the dark (38%)
6. Snow (30%)
7. Dry skin (26%)
8. Chapped lips (25%)
9. Putting on weight (23%)
10. Struggling to dry washing (23%)

Seventy percent of over 55’s placed heating bills at the top of their of winter grumbles list, whereas young professionals it seems are far more concerned about their appearance with chapped lips being top of the list (40%) for 18-25 year olds!

Comfort Eating
Whilst our minds are experiencing the winter freeze, our enthusiasm for looking good in the workplace has also cooled off as the study shows the impact of winter has taken its toll on the weighing scales:

• Half of us (50%) comfort eat at work over the winter because we feel sorry for ourselves, with one in four typically gaining at least half a stone in the winter months
• Over a third (35%) of employed people confessed they do not undertake any exercise because it is too dark and cold, and takes too much energy to get motivated before or after work
• The average weight increase of an employed Brit was at least 4.3lbs over months December to February

Maeve McKeefry, from Linwoods Superfoods, says: “January has always been synonymous with dieting but this study has found that a third (33%) of people don’t kick start their health regime until the middle of January when all the Christmas treats have been finished and cleared from the house.

“It goes without saying that stocking up on essential vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin D which helps absorb calcium and give our bodies that extra boost they need to help us stay on form in our personal lives and at work in the winter months. Linwoods super foods are the ideal range to add to any meal at any time of the day for a nutrient packed pick me up!’

**According to the latest labour market statistics (13 November 2013 ) there were 29.95 million people in employment aged 16 and over from April to June 2013.