Motivating employees to keep active in 2019

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As many UK office workers are spending most of their working day sitting down for approximately 6-9 hours a day, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure employees remain active at work.

Sitting in an office chair all day with an unlimited supply of tea may seem ideal in creating a comfortable office, however with the UK having one of the highest absenteeism rates in Europe, it’s time to motivate your employees to get moving.

Why it is important to get active

A report from the British Heart Foundation shows that 43% of men and 46% of women spend less than 10 minutes a day walking around at work. Studies highlight that sitting down for most of the day slows down the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to circulate blood and break down body fat, increasing the risk of many health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Sitting at a desk all day without exercise could also lead to more serious health issues including musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, such as back and neck pain. These painful conditions can put sufferers at an increased risk of developing poor mental health, and with MSK problems accounting for 22.4% of all sickness, these are issues that can’t be ignored. You can read more about our MSK and mental health integrated support by clicking here.

Ideas to help employees get active

Supporting employees’ wellbeing will improve their health and have tangible benefits for your business, such as improving absenteeism and your bottom line.

Below are just some of the ways you can encourage your employees to stay active and get moving:

  • Take a break and organise a group walk
  • Introduce a team lunchtime activity
  • Set weekly challenges
  • Sign up for local charity walks and runs as a team
  • Incorporate a cycle-to-work scheme
  • Consider introducing an on-site gym or providing local gym discounts for employees
  • Introduce a weekly weigh in club to help employees stay motivated to exercise
  • Encourage employees to use the stairs instead of the lift

It only takes 30 minutes of physical activity five days per week to improve and maintain health. Keeping active provides better health, leading to increased productivity and therefore higher quality of work that benefits both you and your employees.

For information on Health Shield’s products and services to improve employee wellbeing and reduce absenteeism, visit the Products area of our website.