Categories: Better Health at Work Better Health at Work Awards

Physical Activity

Our second project was Physical Activity and we promoted how the importance of getting a break away from your desk / work can improve productivity, mood and promote physical activity. We were aiming to highlight the benefits of physical activity, not just the physical benefits but the impact it can have on us psychologically. 

Exercise does not have to be a gym class or going for a run, we are exploring different types of exercise such as Clubbercise, how calories are burnt doing housework and how much exercise we do every day by monitoring our steps. To encourage this amongst the staff we set out some structured weekly specific tasks to encourage team interaction as well as a bit of healthy competition. 

  • Week 1 – Encouraging lunch-time walks – teams interacting together
  • Weeks 2 & 3 – 2-week step challenge
  • Week 3 – Wake Up, Shake Up’   – daily 2 minute chair and floor exercise

The staff have really embraced the walking group on a daily basis even befriending the Derek the local donkey



Lunch-time walks 

The staff have really embraced the walking group on a daily basis even befriending Derek the local donkey and continued the lunchtime walks throughout the month. 

The walk helped a mix of the teams to interact as well as help with their health and wellbeing with the exercise. 

We spoke with the team about how important it is to take some time to have appropriate breaks away from our desks or working environment. 

The walks prompted conversations with staff members who we may not usually have the opportunity to speak with in our day to day lives. 

Overall, the lunch time walks improved mental health, built relationships and encouraged taking breaks. 

We received positive feedback from the staff involved in the lunchtime walks, it was described as ‘a chance to talk about our personal lives’, ‘an actual break away from the office’ and comments were made about how it helped to ‘freshen up’ prior to working for the afternoon.


Steps Challenge 

The two week step challenge was a chance for some healthy competition within the team, it was good to see how parking the car further from the office can make a difference to our daily steps. 

There were some staff who may not have completed many steps but were doing physical activity in another way such as going to the gym or swimming. 

All of the various activities promoted conversation around the teams sharing information on the exercise they were doing and how better this made people feel generally. 

To boost steps members of the team carried on with the lunchtime walks, of which Derek the Donkey was happy for the company and an array of treats! 

The recommended amount of steps for the average person is 10,000 steps a day, some found it difficult to reach this and others accepted the challenge! 

Whether it was going for a walk, run or using the treadmill there was a vast mixture of ways to increase and record the steps we were doing each day for 2 weeks. 

Well done to the winners of the steps challenge who were as follows: 

Deb Graham – both weeks with over 89,000 steps each week 

Rachel Smith – winner of the prize for a lucky dip held for all those taking part in the challenge.

Wake Up – Shake Up 

Our team engaged well with the morning ‘Wake Up, Shake Up’, we had feedback that it was good to have something different to start the mornings. 

It gave everyone a giggle and set a good tone for the day ahead. Each morning brief had a different short exercise routine that could be done seated or standing. 

For the final day of the challenge we finished off with a 2 minute breathing exercise which the staff found very relaxing to start off their day.