Physical activity

Family cycling

28 / 10 / 2015 3.08pm

Organisational development leaders have emphasised the role physical activity not only plays in promoting health and wellbeing of staff, but also its role in helping tackling obesity.

Leading organisations commit to:

  • establishing and promoting a local physical activity offer to its staff; and
  • promoting healthy travel to work by offering the Cycle to Work scheme and considering public transport options.
Whilst it is expected that every organisation offers a local physical activity programme, the healthy workplaces team will not be prescriptive in what these schemes should be or how they should be run. Programmes should combine opportunities for staff both to build physical activity into their routine, as well as specific sport and exercise opportunities.

Organisations are already running yoga classes, Zumba classes, running clubs and many others. Organisations may also choose to promote local activities like Park Runs, Sky Rides, Ramblers Walks and Tennis Tuesdays, or promote the online tools and resources that can help people become more active, like Couch25K or the Change4Life ten minute shake up for children and families.

Often, the key to success of schemes is involving a public commitment which individuals can be supported to meet, or a challenge element. For example, individuals could set a weight loss or physical activity target, and compete with their team to meet a collective challenge. Teams may support each other to take part in the Couch to 5k programme, or particular sporting events.

All organisations should offer the Cycle to Work scheme, and support it by providing cycle storage and changing facilities on site. Linking with local authorities’ active travel programme may provide access to free bike clinics, cycle training and subsidised bike storage facilities. NHS organisations could investigate working in partnership with local gyms to offer discounted membership to NHS staff, and can promote existing national discounts offered through the NHS discounts website.

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