Help your staff to get fit and you’ll soon reap the benefits

By NickiBlake on July 21st, 2014 - comments

Amy StoryAmy Story, Physical Activity Officer at Active Lincolnshire

Figures released earlier this year show that a shocking 131 million days were lost due to sickness absence from the workplace across the UK in 2013. National percentages reflected how the East Midlands landed bottom of the table. Our region is currently the worst in the country for sick related absences, simultaneous with Wales and the North East according to Office for National Statistics.

The phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has never resonated more when we also consider the overwhelming cost of absenteeism to businesses, which currently stands at £29 billion a year.

Unsurprisingly, the results indicate that sickness absence is lowest for managers, directors and senior officials in both public and private sector.

Promoting active and healthy lifestyles in the workplace is a win-win measure for both employer and employee. It is a relatively inexpensive way to maintain good staff morale while driving down the number of sick days. With obesity on the rise in Lincolnshire, it is becoming increasingly necessary for local businesses to not only consider their employees’ wellbeing, but to also proactively introduce methods to help them achieve the healthy lifestyle they may desire.

Providing easy ways to encourage employees to be more active in the workplace has never been easier. There is more funding available than ever before to improve workplace facilities, such as the current grants to install office cycling docks in the LN6 area of Lincoln.

Businesses have the opportunity to take part in community based corporate activity days such as the Workplace Challenge events. Only last week Active Lincolnshire ran a Workplace Challenge Business Games which saw businesses of all sizes compete in Rush Hockey, Touch Rugby and Wheelchair Basketball.

The Commonwealth Games will be gracing our doors on July 23 and with it comes a Commonwealth Games four week challenge for businesses. Workplaces simply have to log any activity they do with an online web tool at www.workplacechallenge.org.uk which, when activity is logged, places the business into a leaderboard and allows them to compete against colleagues and other Lincolnshire businesses.

Active Lincolnshire can also offer support in setting up tailor-made activity days for businesses.

With an abundance of activity going on, the opportunity to get active in the workplace is there; businesses just need to take advantage of it.

To get involved with workplace events such as Workplace Challenge Business Games and the Commonwealth Games Workplace Challenge contact Active Lincolnshire on 01522 585 580 or visit www.lincolnshiresport.com/workplacechallenge