Physical activity in the workplace
Being physically inactive has been linked to an increased risk of a range of health conditions including:
- coronary heart disease (CHD)
- type 2 diabetes
- mental health problems
On the other hand, evidence shows that participating in physical activity can help to prevent disease, maintain a healthy weight and promote mental health and wellbeing.
People who take part in regular physical activity have:
- up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
- up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
- a 30% lower risk of early death
- up to a 30% lower risk of depression
- up to a 30% lower risk of dementia (NHS, 2018).
The cost of inactivity
Physical inactivity is estimated to cost the UK economy around £8.2 billion per year (Health at Work: Economic Evidence Report, 2016).
Support in Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire
Everyone Health Staffordshire offer a free healthy lifestyle service to Staffordshire residents. This includes support to help people get more active and to lose weight. Please note, some restrictions do apply.
They also offer a free healthy workplace service to some businesses in Staffordshire, to support employees to stay healthy. Restrictions do apply, so please contact Everyone Health to discuss if your business may be eligible.
NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme - Staffordshire
Staffordshire residents who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes may be eligible for free support from the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.
Resources to help your employees become more physically active
Below are some toolkits, ideas, tips and campaigns to help encourage your employees to become more physically active.
Business in the Community has partnered with Public Health England to produce this simple and informative toolkit. It aims to help employers of all sizes to achieve a healthier working environment, by encouraging staff to eat well and move more.
Campaigns, websites and apps:
This campaign aims to encourage millions of adults to kick start their health and reduce their risk of serious illness, including Covid-19. This includes free apps such as Couch to 5k and Active 10, as well as access to free NHS fitness videos.
Cycle to work day encourages adults across the UK to get on their bike and give cycle commuting a go for one day. It's an easy way to boost your employees' health and improve their wellbeing. Not to mention being good for the environment.
This year’s event takes place on 5 August 2021. So why not encourage your employees to dust off their old bike and get ready to join in the UK’s biggest one-day celebration of cycle commuting.
On 24 September 2020, workers across Britain were encouraged to 'wiggle it, waggle it, just don’t sit on it'!
The challenge is a national awareness day to get 1 million office workers to unite together to participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to get workers to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work. It’s free to sign up.
For tips on getting moving and fitting exercise in to daily life, see the One You website. There are also lots of free apps to download, and a ‘how are you?’ quiz.
What will you and your employees score?
For top tips on how office workers can fit physical activity into their working day.
There are an increasing number of health and wellbeing apps available. We are making it easier for you and your employees to find apps that can help you to stay healthy and well with our health and wellbeing app finder tool. This includes the top rated apps for fitness and exercise.
Staffordshire Connects is our easy to use directory. It provides details about hundreds of different care, support and wellbeing organisations, local activities, clubs and community groups taking place across Staffordshire.
You can find a range of support services to help you get active within the 'Adults and Communities' section, under 'Health and Wellness'.
Take a look at the active travel and air quality in the workplace page for information on the support you can get to promote active and sustainable travel in your workplace.
Take a look at the healthy eating in the workplace page for ideas on how to encourage your employees to eat healthily. This will complement any efforts that you’re undertaking on physical activity.
Get in touch
Let us know the great things that your business is doing in relation to physical activity by emailing Workplace Health.