Among the report’s recommendations is a move to allow the role of local authority health and safety inspectors to be expanded.
This would mean better advice and information on private sector employee diets, the set-up of workstations, and the importance of exercise could be given, the report says.
It also recommended that the private sector be able to increase the amount of “home-based working” for those recovering from ill health, and be able to stipulate a “workplace health” clause when awarding building contracts.
The report’s authors called for services provided by the NHS to reduce illness such as increased cancer and cardiac screening in the workplace.
The report also said people should be allowed to register with health services that are close to their workplace. The authors said that their recommendations were put forward to “complement the Government’s recent announcements on getting the sick back to work”.
It is estimated that about 3.4 million working days could be saved annually in the NHS, Europe’s largest employer, alone if it improved the health of its workforce.
Julia Manning, the think tank’s chief executive, said: “Our proposals would go a long way towards repairing both the nation’s health and its economic fortunes. The importance of health to economies is well established.
“Good health improves educational outcomes, enhances performance at work, increases savings rates and reduces the burden on the public purse by decreasing the demand for health services and benefits payments.”
Earlier this month, an independent review for the Government recommended that independent assessment of sickness claims be introduced.
David Cameron has warned that Britain's sicknote culture in the workplace was acting as a "conveyor belt to a life on benefits".
The Prime Minister said he would act on expert advice that recommended that family doctors should be stripped of the power to sign people off work long-term.
"‘Of course some of these people genuinely can’t work, and we must support them. That’s only fair," the Prime Minister said.
"But it’s also fair that those who can return to work should be supported to do so. We need to end the something for nothing culture.
"‘While 90 per cent of sickness cases are short-term – that stomach bug or flu that we all suffer from occasionally – nearly half of all days lost to sickness absence are because of cases that last four weeks or more."
Ministers believe that about one in five of those who are absent on long-term sick leave should either never have been signed off in the first place or could go back to work.
The expert report, commissioned for Downing Street, suggested more than three-quarters of GPs admitted they had signed people off sick for reasons other than their physical health.
Mr Cameron said he was alarmed by evidence of the scale of the problem from a report by Dame Carol Black, an expert on health at work, and David Frost, the former director general of the British Chambers of Commerce.