A physically active workforce makes so much sense. Research has proven that employees who are physically active have increased productivity, reduced injuries, reduced stress and take less sick days. It’s believed that physical activity reduces absenteeism by up to 20%.
Most employees spend eight hours a day at work, many sitting behind desks, driving or standing at workstations. Considering this, and the increasing rates of obesity in Ireland, it is extremely likely that many employees are not getting sufficient exercise to benefit their health.
Considering all of the above, employers are well advised to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace. There are a number of initiatives that employers can take to promote health and wellbeing, some of which include:
• Providing Health Screening e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol
• Providing healthy eating options in the canteen
• Encouraging employees to be active during their breaks
• Supporting employees to take a fitness class or join a gym
In Thesaurus we’re all office based and spend most of our days sitting behind our desks. In an effort to get our team moving and increase physical activity, we recently completed the Irish Heart Foundation Step Challenge.
We broke into teams and using pedometers counted our daily steps over a four week period. At the end of each week the teams totalled their steps, the totals were then logged on what soon became a very competitive scoreboard! The challenge was to walk at least 10,000 steps per day, some were more successful than others, but everyone got involved and everyone had fun!
The Irish Heart Foundation provided us with all the support material needed to get us up and running/walking. Any workplace looking to create awareness around a healthy lifestyle and looking to have some fun, should consider the Step Challenge. Further details can be found at www.irishheart.ie