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 offer a free healthy workplace service to businesses in Staffordshire, to support their employees to stay healthy. This includes support to help people get more active and to lose weight. Please note, some restrictions may apply.
Healthier You - NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme
Staffordshire residents who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes may be eligible for free support from the Healthier You - NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme. Why not encourage your employees to check their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, by using the 'know your risk' tool. It's free and it only takes a few minutes.
Or if you would like a member of the Diabetes Prevention Team to come into your workplace to raise awareness of the risks of Type 2 diabetes with your staff, please email: WorkplaceHealth@staffordshire.gov.uk
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.
Get your workplace involved in Living Streets' National Walking Month. This year they are encouraging people to #Try20, and walk for 20 minutes each day for the month of May. Is your workplace ready to #WalkthisMay?
They also run a 'Walking Works' programme for embedding the culture of walking into workplaces.
Plus they run a ‘Walking Friends’ initiative that enables businesses to tackle social isolation in their local community. They train employees to become ‘walk leaders’, who then organise led walks for people 65+ in the local community. A great way to show corporate social responsibility!
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 4 August 2022. 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 28 April 2022, 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.
Find out about the physical activity guidelines that are recommended for different age groups. Plus different exercises you can do for strength, flexibility and fitness.
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.
The Cannock Chase Can app is available for free to Cannock Chase residents, to help them improve their health and wellbeing. It hosts a variety of wellness challenges developed by the community, local organisations and businesses.
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.