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06 Dec 2017

Tackling Inactivity in Black Country Workplaces


  • Brits sit down for average 8.9 hours per day (1), 40% do not exercise enough (2)
  • 131 million working days lost to sickness absence in England each year (3)
  • Active Black Country wants more people to exercise in and around their working day
  • Eight week campaign launches in January 2018

Figures show Brits sit down for an average 8.9 hours each day (4) and one in four of us do fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week (5) – alarming statistics which are the driving force behind a campaign to combat inactivity amongst busy workers across the Black Country.

The 2018 Active Workplace Challenge, now in its fifth year, is an eight-week initiative run in collaboration with Active Black Country, designed to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

Running from January 8th until March 4th, this year’s message is ‘make every minute count’, as workplaces across the Black Country are encouraged to join forces and introduce ten minute bitesize chunks of physical activity before, during and after work.

It’s all part of Workplace Challenge, the national activity tracking resource, which brings together 30 County Sports Partnerships including Active Black Country to support and promote physical activity in and around the workplace.

Tackling the issue

Statistics show 40 per cent of people in England do not exercise enough (6), despite government guidelines which state that all adults should exercise for 150 minutes each week. In total, 131 million working days are lost to sickness in England each year (7) and poor mental and physical health amongst our workforce is costing the UK taxpayer over £60 billion (8).

Ian Carey, Interim Director for Active Black Country said:

We should not underestimate the impact this is having on businesses across the Black Country, not to mention the individuals themselves of course. Not enough people are meeting the recommended target for physical activity in a week – which means poor health, lower productivity and increased workplace absence. We want businesses to get involved and to support their employees in bringing physical activity into and around their working day. And what better time to start than January after the Christmas and New Year indulgence?”

Get involved

Workplace Challenge encourages employers to sign up and get involved, building on evidence from previous campaigns that team collaboration and peer support can be successful in getting people more active.

Employees can visit the Workplace Challenge website and track their activity through the eight-week challenge and beyond, easily comparing activity levels to other participating individuals and organisations across the Black Country and nationwide.

The focus will be on encouraging workers to walk, jog, run or cycle one mile each day during the challenge, with a particular emphasis on stepping away from their desks during the lightest and brightest part of the day and tackling the culture of a desk-bound lunch. NHS guidelines state that getting plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight, can help to improve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

To find out more about how your workplace can get involved in the 2018 Active Workplace Challenge visit www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/2018challenge.

ENDS


NOTES TO EDITOR:

1. http://www.getbritainstanding.org/

2. Public Health England

3.https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/labourproductivity/articles/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket/2014-02-25

4. http://www.getbritainstanding.org/

5. https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-features/news/2017/january/26/active-lives-offers-fresh-insight/

6. Public Health England

7.https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/labourproductivity/articles/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket/2014-02-25

8. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/618541/Health_and_work_infographics.pdf

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