Physical activity is essential for good health. Workplaces can help increase physical activity levels, and thus improve the health of employees, reduce sickness absence and increase productivity. Physical activity can also help to improve and maintain positive mental health and wellbeing.
Most public health organisations recommend that at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days a week are spent participating in moderately intense activities.
Why promote physical activity at work?
Evidence suggests that physical activity can benefit an organisation because active workforces tend to:
- Report less illness and recover more quickly from the illnesses they do get
- Experience less work absence
- Experience lower staff turnover
- Be more productive
- Have fewer industrial injuries
- Report higher levels of satisfaction with their work
How employers can help promote physical activity
- Develop a Policy to encourage and support employees to be more physically active
- Encourage employees to walk, cycle or use another mode of transport involving physical activity to travel part or all of the way to and from work (for example, by developing a travel plan)
- Help employees to be physically active during the working day, for example, by encouraging them to take the stairs or walk to external meetings
- Promote opportunities for employees to take up more physical activity outside of work or take up workplace challenges