Workplace Challenge campaign encourages workers to liven up their lunch break with bite size activity.
A national eight-week activity challenge launches in the New Year (Wednesday 4th January), designed to encourage more people to introduce ten-minute ‘bite size’ chunks of activity in and around their working day to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Bringing together 35 County Sports Partnerships from across England, the Active Lunch Challenge, which runs until 28th February, will be providing individuals with exciting examples and opportunities to get active and log their activity online – from office aerobics to company-wide congas.
It’s all part of Workplace Challenge, the workplace health programme, aimed at supporting and promoting physical activity in and around the workplace. An estimated 40 per cent of people do not exercise enough, according to Public Health England, and research conducted by Workplace Challenge partners, the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC), shows that time is the biggest barrier to sport and activity.
By encouraging participation during the lightest and brightest part of the day, the eight-week Active Lunch Challenge will also support mental health, helping to tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). NHS guidelines state that getting plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight, can help to improve symptoms of SAD.
Lee Mason, Chief Executive of the County Sports Partnership Network, which runs Workplace Challenge, said: “We know from research that many busy workers list time as one of their biggest barriers to exercise, particularly in Winter when people are more likely to be at work during daylight hours, but we also know that every minute counts when it comes to maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
“The most important thing about this campaign is that we want people to keep it simple. Introducing a small change to their current routine with bite size chunks of activity is one of the best ways for any busy individual to increase their exercise, which is why we’re encouraging people to get up and about over the next eight weeks to encourage behavioural change.
“Whether they swap the lift for the stairs, grab a quick game of table tennis in the boardroom or challenge their colleagues to a dance-off, we want workers to make the most of their lunch break – and their journeys to and from work for that matter.
"However, as we have identified in our Flexible Lunch Break Manifesto, they need management level buy-in from their employers to make this possible - which is why we would like workplaces across England to show their support and get involved."
Local County Sports Partnerships across the country will be working with employers to host events, provide inspiration and encourage teams to get involved over the eight week challenge and beyond.
Employees can sign up for Workplace Challenge for free, where they can log activity and compete against others in company-wide, local and national challenges. Employers have the option to sign up their entire organisation and access additional functionality and CSP support through the programme’s Business Registration, costing £150 (+VAT).
For more details, visit www.workplacechallenge.org.uk.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- Workplace Challenge’s activity tracking platform is a free online facility available through www.workplacechallenge.org.uk that enables individuals and workplaces to log all of their physical activity, and easily compare activity levels to other participating individuals and organisations.
- Active loggers will be able to see a variety of stats including distance travelled, calories burned, CO2 saved and progress against the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week using a targets bar. It's also possible to set personal targets in 2015 (linked to fundraising if you wish) and create your ‘circles’ to compare your progress against friends and colleagues. All these features and more are available from your dashboard.
- A minimum of three registered employees are required for a workplace to appear in a leader board and people can also track their own individual progress locally and nationally.
- County Sports Partnerships across England locally manage the online platform for their community, ensuring that there are challenges, activities and competitions available offline to encourage people to stay active.
- Workplace Challenge is supported by Sport England through the Get Healthy Get Active fund.
County Sports Partnership Network
- The CSP Network represents local County Sports Partnership teams across the country.
- Collectively, they contribute to the health of the nation by helping local partners, organisations and deliverers to promote the benefits of active lifestyles across local communities.
- The CSP Network delivered The Community Games – one of the most successful community campaigns seen in the UK, attracting over 2 million members of the public to come together in local communities to take part in active cultural events inspired by London 2012.